GA Minutes – 7pm Friday 9th December 2011
MINUTES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA) FRIDAY 9 DECEMBER 2011 7pm
Minute taker : Julie
Summary of Decisions:
Kitchen will change its timetable and will now serve breakfast , lunch & early dinner. There will be no hot food served after 7 p.m. –
Finsbury Square kitchen will be given a mandate by the GA to resource a late dinner – Agreed
We will get rid of empty tents and create communal tents – Agreed
Tranquility will swell numbers through partnership with Trade Union Congress (TUC). There will be a bigger dedicated tent . This will serve hot water and sandwiches . This will not be a communal space but a place for the camp members to refuel and a space to support Tranquility – Agreed
There will be a welcome team modelled on the Amsterdam Occupy model . A Welcome Team working group will be started and people volunteered to do that – Agreed
The facilitator opened the meeting by explaining that tonight’s theme would be “downsizing the camp” .
WORKING GROUP ( WG) FEEDBACK
Health and Safety WG reported that they are back on and working with trade unions to beef it back up.
The interim finance WG explained that from now on the GA on Tuesday lunchtime will make budget decisions decide . The interim finance budget accept requests until Monday noon. Forms are available at information . Completed forms will be then be distributed for ready for General Assembly meetings. A Interim Finance WG delegate will be at Starbooks this Monday at 11 am for help and support . Information is also available on on group-spaces.
Shelter asked if everybody has place to sleep as some tents had blown away. There was a request for volunteers for Monday at 10 am. This is to help rearrange the camp. Please meet at Tent City University . Several people volunteered.
Corporations WG fed back that they are planning a Direct Action and they want the GA’s involvement . Our next meeting will be Tuesday at 12 noon.
There was an announcement of a tour of the City’s buildings . Please meet at 6pm Tuesday’s at Canary Wharf Tube Station.
Proposed WG announcement : A new ” Peoples’ group” was proposed ; this is a group anybody can join . A tent will be built that anybody is invited to enter so that they can drink and party . I do not care if anybody dose not like this , they can go away. [The speaker used much stronger language than this – minute takers note]
Response : What if we are working on politics , don’t you not care about that, should we go away? What if we want to sleep, don’t you care abut that? What if we want to take care of people?
THEMED DEBATE: DOWNSIZING THE CAMP
Facilitator : Half the people in camp want to be here to party , half want to be activists , half the people want to care for people , half the people want to be here for the politics. We now come to the theme of the night , which is downsizing the camp .
Response : We have General Assembly meeting which decides whether tents can be erected . We are not here to party .
Response: The camp decided drinking alcohol and taking drugs is not allowed.
Response : The proposer of the “Peoples group” said he did not care.
Response : Some people here eat meat, some people are here don’t eat meat. If some people want a tent to drink then we should be able to facilitate that . If we have a tent that is set up far away then it will not disturb people who can sleep.
Response : This camp is dominated by people not staying here who are middle class
Clarification : All working groups are open to all people . But saying to people you don’t care what they think and how they feel is not very respectful.
Response : This camp is falling down because there is no place for people to sit down. The Tea and Empathy tent was taken . So I don’t care. I am going.
Response : The point of who the camp is for is very important . We are here to make change f for many people who are being oppressed and facing injustice . We are working for a better future.
Response : The Bank of Ideas is taking a lot of energy, but we needed extra space . The movement of Tea and Empathy tent allowed more space . The new proposal that is that food served in the canteen will be breakfast and lunch and early dinner before GA . Late dinner will now be served in Finsbury Park after GA . We propose clearing away the empty tents. There will be new spaces . We will serve hot water for drinks in a new Tranquillity tent open throughout the night.
Response : One on the reasons for this is to help clear the highway way to allow better circulation space and also to allow us to better present ourselves, and the camp, to visitors.
Clarification : Will there be a new indoor GA space?
Clarification : Will there be an expanded tranquility team offering tea and hot drinks?
Response : Yes there will be.
Response : I have recently come back from Amsterdam where they have made changes to the Occupy camp. The Amsterdam site is smaller and also has support of a Liberal mayor , so it is a different situation as we have the Corporation of London to contend with. They had a lot of problems, as the camp attracted people from the red light area and then they ended up with more people than they could cope with, who were partying. They evolved a different set up with dedicated enclosed spaces. One tent was set aside as a Media & Legal space and there were other large meeting spaces. Permanent tents, who had been there from the beginning , were encouraged to stay. These tents also circulated people who slept overnight, so they had enough volunteers to maintain the working groups. They built yurts that people could sleep in communally and many of the individual tents went. The communal areas were all held in enclosed spaces. All individuals were met by a welcome team so that it was clear that they were getting involved , otherwise people were quickly dispersed.
Response : it a victory we still here ! People were really excited in America that we were here . I am against the downsizing to meet the Corporation of London of demands . I think we should remain if there are people willing to be here.
Response : I am against nylon structures. We should build larger geodesic domes and other structures to sleep in.
Response : It is likely we will be evicted , however when we go to court should we find a middle way to be skilful to meet the demands of the case ?
Response : I have received the court papers and it makes no difference the number of tents . But I think it’s helpful to downsize and remove the empty tents as people who know of empty tents, and are into partying , invite their friends . We should downsize for our reasons rather than the courts , but anything that shows us being reasonable will help in court.
Response : I am not sure about downsizing . But want us to be more punitive for difficult people and create safety.
Facilitator : We need to huddle together over the winter.
Response : I don’t like that have to walk to Finsbury Square for hot food if we have been working all day.
Response : If it is late I go and buy dinner . Generally by living here we are saving money, so we should be able to afford that from time to time.
Response : The new Tranquility tent will serve boiling water at night and sandwiches
The facilitator put the following proposal to the meeting : Kitchen will change its timetable and will now serve breakfast , lunch & early dinner. There will be no hot food served after 7 p.m. This was agreed by consensus
The facilitator put the following proposal to the meeting : Finsbury Square kitchen will be given a mandate by the GA to resource a late dinner. This was agreed by consensus.
The debate then moved to discussing the tents.
Response : Shelter WG said some people are rotating . However some tents are blowing away . People need to stay in there or weigh them down.
Response: Some have been empty for three weeks.
Clarification: Will we be removing tents people are using?
Response : There is no intention to remove tents people are using, only empty tents
Response : Can we source geodesic domes and yurts?
Response : Yes , and we can build benders.
Response : Smaller communal tents are better than larger ones if we have difficult people and agent provocateurs.
Response : More people will be easier to manage in a tent.
Response : Working Groups could take charge of building and maintaining communal tents.
Clarification: Will the proposal include communal tents?
The facilitator put the following proposal to the meeting : We will get rid of empty tents and create communal tents. This was agreed by consensus.
Response : Communicating with Anonymous is important, otherwise they feel left out.
Response : Everybody is welcome at the General Assembly; we can all jazz hands.
The facilitator put the following proposal to the meeting : Tranquility will swell numbers through partnership with Trade Union Congress (TUC). There will be a bigger dedicated tent . This will serve hot water and sandwiches . This will not be a communal space but a place for the camp members to refuel and a space to support Tranquility . This was agreed by consensus.
Response : What about enclosing the kitchen space – could we do that here? Seems an important part of Amsterdam change as makes it enclosed and easier to welcome people and keep the space safe and secure.
The facilitator put the following proposal to the meeting : There will be a welcome team modelled on the Amsterdam Occupy model . A Welcome Team working group will be started and people volunteered to do that – Agreed
Announcement : Legal still want statements , please send over the weekend .
Announcement : Whistles have been purchased for women to alert people if they feel unsafe.
Announcement : Shelter reported that when you bring down a tent it goes in the green tent of Shelter and belongings in a bag . However people are taking stuff! People cannot go in there and take stuff as it needs to be there for a number of weeks . Please ask permission. Also if you are going away then please let us know about that . We have had comments about people in masks and making people nervous .I say that you should talk to them!
Facilitator : Please take down Earthian’s number to talk to him. Please support him .
Announcements : First meeting of the Education working group in Tent City University is at 11 am.
Announcement : There will be a talk on the Decriminalise of Prostitution in Tent City University.
Announcement: A member of the Kitchen reported that they had been given some money from Finance for food, but he did not think it would be enough to last until Tuesday, when the Kitchen will receive more money.
Response: Finance has met kitchen, and spent a long time discussing the issue. We asked how much do you need until Tuesday . We spoke with three people that the kitchen all agrees understood the situation. Two people said £100, the other said £250 . Finance then agreed 100. It was also agreed that the Kitchen keep the donations .
Response : Maybe the Kitchen think that £100 is not enough, it does not seem much?
Response : There are also donations of cash and food.
Announcements : The 4 solar panels are now wired up . The next step is to establish exactly how much power each service needs. If you want to learn please come and see me , said Em.
Announcement: I am not happy with situation with Kitchen and would like a small allowance so I can buy dinner.
The facilitator and members of the meeting agree this would be discussed but the General Assembly will the meeting would need more time , therefore it cannot be dealt with tonight.
THE MEETING CLOSED