GA Minutes – 7pm Tuesday 3rd January 2012


Theme: Occupy London Working Groups Feedback

Date: Tuesday 3rd January 2012

Location: Tent City University

Facilitators: Vica and Em

Minutes: John

Weather: Calm and mild, after the windy storm.

Started: 7.18pm

Facilitator: Welcome to everybody. This is not a GA, but we hope to do this each week. Temperature check about regular WGs assembly. Very warm.

When are the non-GA days?

Response: The GAs are on Wed, Fri, Sat.

Facilitator: Which days do people prefer. Takes temperature check on each of Sun Mon Tues Thurs. All pretty much equal.

Have invited people from all working groups, representatives of camps, and media platforms.

More important to give out information. Who would like to start?

Livestream: If people want to put other clips in the channel that would be great.

Criminal Investigations Unit: Conference on Saturday, with workshop financial crimes, war crimes, family law. Mortage repossessions. Bank of Ideas 11am – 5pm.

Internal Comms: If you have a WG please setup an email for the working group so people can contact you. Send an email to internal comms email address [insert address] with this email. Also if you have an event please also send a message to this list. You can also have a new board on the forum. There’s a place on the forum to request a new WG board on the forum.

Finance WG: Had a very long meeting today. Summary of current situation. We have a new finance system. There are forms to make requests on the website. Fill them in and put in send it to or put in pigeon hold. Put in your requests before noon on Monday for Tuesday lunchtime Finance GA. The whole GA will decide on the requests. System is cumbersome because everybody wants to discuss everything, but it seems to be working. We only spend each week what we get in each week. We want to continue Occupy for a long time, so we need to do it like this.

There’s a meeting tomorrow meeting for new Fundraising WG. 10.30am in Starbucks. There is also a resources WG being set up. It’s part and parcel of the Fundraising WG.

Additionally, some are frustrated about still not having a bank account. Setting up new system has taken a lot of time and energy. GA approved ages ago that we should have Cooperative Bank account. There are still a few things to do. We need some signatories, but we will take legal advice about the potential liabilities. If you want to be a signatory then please let us know. It might take another two weeks to set this up.

Comment: What will happen if more offers than we need?

Finance: Prefer people in London. Prefer people who are around.

Comment: There have been requests from other groups in UK wanting money. How are we responding?

Finance: We have discussed it briefly, but not in depth. Next meeting is Monday 11am Geodesic dome. If you come, please be collaborative, and try to understand what’s been done already.

Online platforms at Sunday 2pm in Geodesic dome.

International: Last thing we did before Christmas was organise human rights day. Lots of us have been away, so can’t say what we’ll be doing because there is a meeting on Saturday to figure it out.

Now we are working on responding to call outs.

Pan European call out for

May day call out for a strike. Will hopefully discuss this on Saturday 11am at Tea cafe (opposite Chapter House) [later moved to Geodesic Dome – see below].

Making links with other camps, so that we are a global movement.

Facilitator: Forgot to say, it’s really important to let Info tent know about all your meetings.

Comment: Are you also linking with other camps in UK?

International: No, that’s the Outreach WG.

Comment: What about the call out for international conversations across 50+ camps on global platforms?

International: We only got that this morning. It seems to clash with the GA on Saturday.

Comment: Perhaps we should just try to get one or two people on it, otherwise if everybody is on Mumble it would be nuts.

Occupied Times: New issue out tomorrow afternoon. Want all WGs to collaborate with them. They will reserve space for articles of 400-600 words for WGs.

Comment: Shouldn’t they be coming to us, rather than us going to them?

Occupied Times: Editor will be here from 9-11am tomorrow morning.

Process: Trying to get GA/WG system working better. Trying to get proposals register together. Have lots of individual proposals for improving GA/WG system. There’s a process improvement meeting on Thursday at 2.15pm in Salvation Army Cafe, so will have some more consensus around these proposals after the meeting.

Comment: Would be great to gather all proposals together. Would be able to print them out. Proposals register sounds great.

Eviction (provisional name): Start up meeting 4pm tomorrow at Info. Need to create a good name. It’s about moving on.

Legal: Judge said judgement would be before the 11th. Will be told two days before judgement is given. Will communicate that quickly so people can go and listen to the judgement. Might or might not have grounds for appeal. If we do appeal and the appeal is turned down, we do need to think about what to do. The case is against the tents not the people, so people can carry on the protest but without the tents (which some may think is pointless).

Comment: If judgement is made against us, will we appeal?

Legal: Yes we will appeal if we can.

Facilitator: Let’s not get into a discussion. Moving on…

Corporations: 13th meeting at 7pm Thursday at Ye Olde London. These policy groups are not exclusive, so please feel free to come along. We have about 10 people each meeting, all backgrounds and abilities.

Comment: Might have more than 10 people if you don’t have the meeting in the pub.

Response: I’ve been to lots of meetings and have bought almost no drinks.

Comment: It’s more a matter of whether you feel comfortable walking into somebody’s business and not contributing to it.

Corporations: We’ll try to have the meeting somewhere else.

Faciliator: Can we go on?

Occupy for Lord Mayor WG: Colin wanted me to make a shoutout for this. Please let me (Jamie) me have your email address if you want to get involved.

Real Democracy WG: We’ve met twice, but I’ve only been once. Everything I’m saying is with that qualification. Original people were unable to be here.

There are two inspirations for this: Arab Spring over there, and the Banks over here. Democracy is a universal thing. We are trying to self-govern, which is democracy. In the UK, the feeling is that demcracy has failed, so we want a new democracy.

We want to critique existing democracy. We want to link with others. Will be taking some proposals to Sheffield. We have planned meeting for next Tuesday 6pm (location TBD). If anybody wants to contact the group, then please speak to me afterwards.

Bank of Ideas: Great to hear all the great work Democracy WG is doing. The Bank of Ideas would be able to support you.

Comment: Tried to get involved in Democracy WG but couldn’t find it. We need to make it more accessible.

Info WG: We need information to give out information. We don’t get told the right stuff. I’m going to contact all WGs, but also please contact me. Go to Info tent and check the books have your information. Need a central bank of information, and that could be the Info tent.

Comment: Could we bring the book in here after this meeting, and update it?

Comment: Just put personal contract details for each group in Info and then people can get in touch. Nobody seems to know who is involved in each group.

Cinema: I run cinema. Took it to Occupy Hackney, and it was very well received. I’m doing an Occupy History of all videos (library of clips). Planning meeting tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Comment: That will clash with the GA tomorrow.

Cinema:¬†Cinema is on hold at the moment because my projector is broken. I’ve going to get a mini project but that will take a few weeks to come. There’s a London film festival on Saturday, but that will clash with the GA…

Economics: There is an online diploma. It will teach you everything you need to know about the various aspects of the crisis. There is a questionnaire. if you complete the questionnaire successfully you will get a certificate or a diploma. 70 questions for the diploma. 15 questions for the certificate.

We’ve been running for a couple of months. There are ten sub-groups, not all are active. There is an economics board on the form, but you need to join the mailing list (there’s a lot of stuff on the mailing list).

We have an event (“Beyond Capitalism”) on Sunday 15th January 11am-3pm. Panels of three people to talk for 10 or 15 mins each, to give their proposals. Was hoping to have it at Bank of Ideas, but perhaps we need to look for a new venue.

Comment: Do you have regular meetings?

Economics: Yes, Monday 6pm and Friday 5pm at Cafe Neros next to St Paul’s tube station.

The active sub-groups are:

Land and housing group (regular meeting: 3pm Fridays Ye Olde London). Tax havens (5pm Weds Tea Cafe). Economics and Environment (3pm Saturday, Cafe Neros by St Paul’s).

Comment: We can’t keep having all these meetings off site. It’s outrageous. Every meeting was a tea shop, cafe or bar.

Economics: Well, we’ve been meeting for three months.

Facilitator: We now have spaces on the camp for meetings. It would be nice to have more of the meetings.

International: We will move the 11am Saturday meeting to the Dome!

Comment: Can we make weekly booking at the Dome?

Info: Yes just come and we can make a weekly booking.

Comment: Now we’re having GAs inside, and during the day there isn’t much happening. So having meetings here would really help to show that we are active.

Resources WG: Having meeting tomorrow morning 10.30am, assemble by Library and find somewhere to go.

First part on ethics. Second part on little ideas like giving people a little “Thankyou from Occupy” receipt.

Comment: Need to be more autonomous. Not happy being dependent on cash donations. I’d like to think about how we can more self-sufficient and move away from money.

Economics: We’ve had a discussion about making own currency, e.g. Occupied Pound. Get in touch with Economics WG if you’re interested in currency.

Lobbying WG:Thursday 4pm TCU to work on poster designs. Meeting at Tuesday 10th will be at Houses of Parliament. Will try to get in to lobby room. Any member of UK can register as a lobbier.

Shelter: Trying make Finsbury more sustainable. Experimenting with new structures. Trying to get compost loos. Have centralised kitchen. Are trying to create sustainable eco-village.

Comment: Is it true that there is no eviction proceedings against Finsbury Square?

Shelter: Yes, there are no proceedings against Finsbury Square. Islington Council can’t support us officially but we were having weekly meetings with them. I’m going to try to get that going again.

Comment: We should be growing food from seeds, planting fruit trees etc.

Comment: Question about structural design. Have been talking with Architects Journal. Might have a design competition. Maybe people want to think about that, getting architects involved.

Shelter: Regarding planting fruit trees, at Finsbury Square we are on top of a car park with a foot of ground…

Wiki: Are trying to document solutions we are generating. Call out for volunteers. If anybody is interested in editing the wiki, please come to me afterwards. Trying to have regular meeting Wed 7pm on IRC. (IRC details see: ).

Education: Sounds wishywashy but the problems we are facing will also be problems our children will face. Talking about teaching and learning in general, but also doing outreach. Have been approached by a few schools and we are going to be talking about Occupy. Meeting on Saturday at 3pm in TCU.

We are also drafting initial statement, which will be available in a few weeks. Would be great to have more people involved.

Comment: It’s an amazing initiative. Are you cooperating with other camps? Will you be bringing this up to Sheffield?

Response: Yes we will be taking it to Sheffield.

Facilitator: There will be a national meeting in Sheffield on 21st January.

Comment: In Sheffield they have taken a building called the Citadel of Hope.

Comment: They would like people to help steward the meeting. It’s a great building. Meeting will have so much focus, it’s a beautifully run camp.

Education: Good to make people feel welcome here. If people want to book this space [TCU] then please do. There isn’t much going on next week, so please book your meetings here.

Bank of Idea: Biggest GA we’ve had last night. Discuss how it is organised and what’s been going on. A proposal was brought to reduce population down to skeleton group, just the people who originally took the building. The Bank of Ideas has been experience escalating problems on various levels. People have been turned away, for which I apologise. It’s been happening because the organisation has become weak.

For some reason we got consensus on the reduction. We will be making it into a functional space for Occupy London again. But place is closed at the moment whilst we sort things out. Once open again, we will be strict about what people are doing.

Great to having meetings at St Paul’s but Bank of Ideas has wifi etc.

Comment: Why when hard working people from St Paul’s are turned away when they go to Bank of Ideas. I went two days ago and was told it was for residents only. I’m not okay about that. It’s turned into a little superior clique. I’m really angry about that, okay.

Bank of Ideas: I’m really sorry about that. We’ve had a lot of problems. New tranquillity people turned away long standing members of Occupy London. We’re working on it.

Bank of Ideas: Would like to apologise from the bottom of my heart about this. It’s just because new people didn’t know who you are. We’re trying to stop it being a clique. When we say people are leaving, it’s strictly residents who are leaving. Tomorrow it will be closed so we can tidy up and rebuild the process. The day after we will be open, with wifi and tea and coffee and all the things we need.

Regarding events that have been scheduled for Bank of Ideas, they have been moved to Earl Street.

We will be having a criminal justice conference on Saturday. Organisation will be happening over the next few days.

Comment: What strategy has been devised to protect Occupy movement from alleged copper theft.

Bank of Ideas: We have been discussing this. I’m not an expert on legal issues. They are devising a strategy. Some copper has been apparently been taken. The people who did this have left and are no longer welcome. Somebody said the record will show that Occupy London acted to stop the copper being stolen.

Comment: Listening to this, it sounds genuine, like a call from a brother. We must take all steps to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. If Bank of Ideas say they are ill, we should be trying to nurse them back to health.

Facilitator: Perhaps Joey could be personally invited to Bank of Ideas?

Comment: I have an undying loyalty to St Paul’s site. But I understand people go to Bank of Ideas because it is warm. Let’s make it warmer and more comfortable for people at St Paul’s.

Facilitator: At the moment, Earthian is away and I’ve been trying keep things running. Today we had a storm which knocked over half the tents, at the same time we had 20 people arrive from Bank of Ideas.

Comment: This is a shared space, so we all need to clean.

Comment: We could double glaze and put pallets under the tent.

Facilitator: So please join the Shelter WG and help to make these things happen.

Are there more WGs that want to say something?

General Discussion WG: Trying to get a regular weekly meeting to talk about political ideals and what they would like to see. Friday 6pm at TCU.

Comment: The time conflicts with the GA planning meetings on Friday. There is a process meeting about this. There is also the Aims theme.

Comment: There is a politics meeting in the dome. There is also the Education WG.

Comment: You need to get approval from the GA if you want to be a proper WG that can access funds etc.

TCU: Jesse Jackson at TCU at noon tomorrow, talking about Occupying the Future, lesson learned from US movement and civil rights movement, tactics, how to take our movement forward.

Facilitator: Any more working groups?

Comment: There is still an Energy Equity and Environment group. Meetings Sunday Wednesday 5pm at Ye Olde London (will try to move the meeting).

Outreach: Going to be having meetings around the camp. Linking with Sheffield conference. Main people are away at the moment. Meet twice a week. Don’t know which days.

Sheffield are delighted we are talking about them. They do want help. Would like some solid people to go and help. They good need people with overalls and elbow grease to help scrub down pigeon shit (it’s been a home for pigeons). They are talking with the owners about the building.

Occupiers Handbook:

Facilitator: Any more WGs?

Health WG at Bank of Ideas (Daniel): Medical group has put together a really great space. Have contacted NHS to have surgeries. If you have health complaints we can put you in touch with people who can help you with that.

Also getting in touch with people from Green Cross. We will have training so that we will have plenty of first aiders.

Comment: Do you have a regular meeting?

Health: Not yet but if you give me your email address.

Welfare at St Paul’s: Our tent is not very well manned at the moment. Perhaps we could work together?

Comment: I have a problem with the NHS.

Health: The problems of the NHS are something that I’ve been learning about. Problems are due to both the cuts and the way it is organised.

Welfare Politics: You should come to the welfare politics meetings. The welfare politics meeting is on Monday 6pm. Other sites also have meetings at this time so we’re tying to move it to a better time.

Issues are common to everybody. Communication and relations between people.

Health: Health is very important in protest movement. Mental well being is something that is a common challenge.

Facilitator: Okay, we’re going to bring this meeting to a close.

Comment: We have a quote for broken windows.

Facilitator: The Bank of Ideas people are here. It’s internal to Bank of Ideas but thanks for letting us know.

Are there any more WGs?

Tech from Bank of Ideas: We have been establishing wifi throughout building. Internet cafe downstairs. If there is anything you’d like us to create, such as software websites etc please send us a request.

Our “10% project”: we are starting Occupy The Game. Need story boards.

Meet Wednesdays at 3pm at Bank of Ideas (this week Thursday).

Comment: Can we get every meeting in the Info tent?

Facilitator: This has been a really great meeting. Thank you very much.

Shoutout: We are wanting to make it nice for Jesse Jackson tomorrow. Need materials.

Ends: 21.44



2 Responses to “GA Minutes – 7pm Tuesday 3rd January 2012”

  1. The GA discussion on livestream, wed jan 4th, about the aims of working groups seemed to be about everyone trying to agree about semantics. An extremely difficult process with a large group, basically trying to make up ‘slogans’. A couple of people came up with interesting ideas about ‘inspirational statements’. A quote inca had found seemed to sum up one particular point. Why not try to find inspirational quotes/ poems of great writers and thinkers? Quotes that more or less chime in with your points. Then try for consensus with suggested quotes, and use the ones you choose. …simples!!

  2. Great minutes John! Thanks for the hard work. Makes me continue to feel part of Occupy while in my sick bed. xx


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