GA Minutes – 7pm Monday 12th December 2011
General Assembly 12.12.11
Ad Hoc today due to no process today at 5pm
Working Group Feedback,
Announcement from Glasgow
Discussion on Statement of Autonomy
Announcements and working group feedback:
-There is a Gale coming in. Tonight we need to check over tent lines.
-It is the 12th of December – applause each other for been here this long! We are here for almost as long as Parliament square. But there has been no victory. We have no message. We have not engaged the public.
-[Facilitator]Our papers were submitted to court today. Tammy is representing us. We could be evicted in a week. Consider our time here as value. Also remember the 15th of December – day of occupies.
-[Tammy] We could be evicted from here. IT is unlikely but possible. We need to discuss what to do next with Occupy.
-[Facilitator] This should be a topic in the GA and between each other on site. I will make sure this topic makes it to the GA via Process.
-Today there has been actions on the west coast of America where Occupy Oakland have been shutting down ports.
[Facilitator] The action was to shut down all ports on the west coast.
-[Hassan] I attended a demo with Congolese on their recent election outside the BBC. More than 5 million Congolese have died in the last decade of conflict. They have asked for support on a demo at Great Portland street on Wednesday mid day at the Democratic Republic of Congo Embassy.
-Women’s event in the Yurt 5:30-7pm on Thursday for women.
-Today is the anniversary of Greenham Common – applause
-Interim-Finance: Tomorrows lunch time GA is Budget day!
-[Facilitator] Finance have done a great job – we should support them
-Welfare: 4pm-8pm tent is open for talk 1on1 for those who need it.
-EEE: Big Green Day, Sunday 10am to 10pm, speakers, workshops, bands, in yurt, TCU and steps of Saint Paul’s
-Outreach: New flyers coming finally (same format, new logo), raised in last GA on outreach that info tent did not have a book to leave contact details – this has been remedied. We are liaising with Edinburgh to facilitate the National Occupy Meet-up this coming weekend.
-[Facilitator] Occupy Totness started last weekend. Encourage others to get up there. Occupy Plymouth have occupied a dis-used jobcentre. Applause
Statement of Autonomy
[Facilitator] Do we want consensus on this tonight after discussion?
-a few hands waved in support (5%)
Reads statement aloud.
[Ryan] from Glasgow produces an alternative statement and reads it allowed.
[several tents are flying about and TCU nearly takes off!]
[Facilitator] GA suspended as hurricane is hitting – Can everyone please go outside and assist in securing the site.
[Facilitator] I would like to invite Ryan to discuss his statement
[John] I would prefer if we stuck to the autonomy statement as the Glasgow statement reads more like a constitution.
[Ryan] I wrote it and have put a lot of time into it. It is being floated across Europe.
[Facilitator] We can take it and feed it into the process WG to become part of discussion at a later date.
[Chris] I am concerned with the mention to ‘anonymity’ in the Glasgow statement.
[Tammy] Perhaps it can be discussed and worked on by the Media WG
[John] Perhaps it can be posted on the forum for further discussion
[Facilitator] Lets return to the statement. The previous temp check showed that people are not in serious disagreement with it.
[person] does this apply to all occupies? London occupies or just Saint Paul’s
[Facilitator]can anyone clarify whom this statement covers?
[John] LSX does not apply as a term any more. It is ‘Occupy London’ as we are no longer outside the stock exchange. This would include Finsbury square
[Chris] I thought each site was completely autonomous.
[Ruth] There should be a limit to people making statements on the website as ‘occupy london’. We should state that we do not agree to people making statements on behalf of Occupy London when it has not been agreed in a GA.
[John] We should also not allow Lawyers to speak on our behalf.
[person] Legal technicality, how can this document be for the whole of London Occupy? We are specifically Saint Paul’s square. We should be ‘Occupy City of London’ as this has certain legal implications which I can’t go into.
[Facilitator] I understand that this is ‘occupy lsx’ and this site is separate to occupy Finsbury and BofI.
[John] This is not the case as the other sites do take funds. Documents passed here apply to anyone who uses the lsx name.
[Facilitator] Do we have the authority to do this?
[Ruth] Yes, in the same way as Finsbury could issue a statement on behalf of Occupy London.
[Tammy] I feel it is wrong to move ahead with this statement by way of consensus without having the other sites present.
[Facilitator] We will have the discussion now but not look for consensus. We can do that on the Wednesday GA.
[Ruth] Then it should be this Wednesday as this topic has been put off for too long.
[Facilitator] OK, we will do a temp check after discussion OR look for consensus just for this camp. Occupy London is a term that applies to all of us.
[John] The idea of autonomous sites is misunderstood. Politically we are one site.
[person] I was at BofI and one of their leaders said BofI is nothing to do with Occupy.
[Ryan] We are all going through an individual process and camp process. We are all different. Our differences make us strong.
[Ruth] What if we can not get this passed on Wednesday? Perhaps we should get consensus at Saint Paul’s and then work towards consensus London-wide.
[Cyril] Lets try and make it happen on Wednesday and then get a Thursday slot if we do not have consensus.
[Facilitator] there are two camps emerging
[Tammy] Which working group did this come from?
[Ryan] Should we not stand in solidarity with each other. Do it on Wednesday so that we all stand together.
[Hassan] It is a good statement. It needs to be more accessible. Good points include no leaders, no organizations dominating us, we are not copying other movements, we are autonomous.
[John] BofI are fighting an eviction. One of the cases is that they are a protest. Their defence is that they are not a protest – this is for the legal process only. But it does confuse people.
[Ruth] What is the urgency? A lot of us have been horrified but some of the statements that have come out of Occupy.
[Tammy] can you give us an example?
[Ruth] That Hector Sants was thanked for meeting with us. He is responsible for killing.
[Tammy] I thought we agreed to distance occupy from the talks?
[Ruth] Well, it did not happen, it is urgent to stop this kind of thing happening without bringing it to a GA. Another example is the Corporation of London Demands that were leaked to the media, denied he leaked them to the GA then admitted that he had indeed leaked. Despite the GA requesting the media team to make a correction the media team not only refused the GA but are now working with the individual who made the leak.
[Cyril] Can the person who made the statement get more copies for next time.
[Facilitator] I shall take amendments now then post up the revised version on line for discussion Wednesday.
[John] We could ask the media team + website not to produce any statements until this statement has been discussed. As things are now – we could start our own media team and issue our own press releases. We need this statement for our protection.
[person] Is it possible for a statement to be authentic? Can three people after the GA sign any statement to be released anywhere in the world.
[Facilitator] I do not understand?
[person] For authenticity and transparency can a document be signed by occupy.
[Facilitator] The minutes are the record of documents
[Ryan] we must avoid division
[Ruth] The legal case is important to this. We held the team accountable in negotiations with the Corporation of London. That tradition has weakened. We have to get control over statements issued by groups in case a statement is issued regarding our future at Saint Paul’s without our consent.
[Facilitator] Shall we work through this and look for a temp check?
[Ruth] And if it is not passed on Wednesday then our temp check tonight should be respected and govern behaviour.
[person] It was advertised for tonight very well and everyone knew about it.
[John] I would agree to this if the media team agree to a freeze on issuing statements.
[Cyril] Lets get the meeting for Wednesday well advertised. I agree with John.
[Ryan] We need to stand together.
[Chris] I have just come back in from having my life threatened just now! There are some individuals stealing on site right now and when I tried to deal with it I received no help.
[Tammy] Discussed and agreed that if situation like this arose, not to leave two or three ppl to deal with it but more ppl should go and support them.
[Man] I know them, I can bring the ppl down here and we can talk to them.
[Saskia] People who nick things or are rude are not welcome, if they don’t abide by the safer space policy we ask them to leave, this has been agreed by GA after GA.
Second person threatened.
Call the police and get a video of it.
GA suspended for five minutes to deal with situation.
[Saskia] proposing to get in touch w RMT asap to take up a role in security here at St Paul’s, they have already offered.
[Ruth] have a brainstorming re what we can do to defend ourselves ie walk ppl off site. Discuss & practise scenarios, training in group self defense
Phil how to deal w ppl fr camp who stand with the troublemakers against the ppl trying to intervene, how do we deal w that?
Saskia so proposal is to contact rmt immediately.
Cyril some ppl quite disruptive, started w tranquility, now called security, getting more aggresive, on both sides, can I tbe tranquillity as much as possible.
Hassan we look after ourselves.
Saskia tranquillity was threatening to quit.
Tammy we’ve been trying to deal with ourselves but not working, has had enough as a female. Don’t want to go to the toilet at night. Fighting. Anyone who doesn’t think we need security should step up and be security.
Glasgow man some are infiltrators
John where does tranquillity come from? Using methodology of climate camp.
Max can someone guard info tent
[Obi] We do not get enough volunteers for tranquillity. It does not work.
[Cyril] We could have a tranquillity team with a security team.
[Max] TUC were invited in. I spoke to them. It has been discussed in GA’s before. Unions are prepared to offer night time support to work alongside the tranquillity. We had a visit from the local TUC rep and it went well.
[Facilitator] How long till we can get them here.
[Max] I can liaise with the TUC and get a response very quickly.
[Tammy] What if they want to take over the camp? Can we get an open meeting to talk with them?
[Max] Yes, it must be an open process. They are only helping. There must be ground rules for them to operate under.
[Ryan] In America they had the love police and workshops which stopped the problems from arising. The Unions could come and do teach ins.
[person from Los Angeles Occupy] If you police site and eject people from the camp then it may have issues regarding public space. Removing people that are already camped here could create further conflict.
[Ruth] RMT should come and talk to the GA and tranquillity. Out T team are volunteers that have put themselves on the line. Our tranquillity team did deny that a rape took place.
[Chris] I am very glad to hear that we may get assistance from the Unions. If the Police get involved they will remove the person from site and if charged they will be bailed with conditions not to return here.
[Cyril] We must make the tranquillity end peaceful and diffuse situations instead of using security every time.
[Facilitator] do we have consensus?
[Facilitator] The proposal is for the unions to assist/join our tranquillity team.
[Andy] Will the TUC be here as TUC or as Occupy?
[Max] 8 people per watch – 4 TUC and 4 tranquillity. Rules: they are part of tranquillity – occupy. They will be using de-escalation techniques. They will not be here AS occupy but as external volunteers.
[Hassan] I do not want to block this but I think it is good idea to have more volunteers. I will volunteer. Problem is that we have to be up all night. Can we split the shift.
[Facilitator] Do we have consensus?
[Cyril] Can we invite them first?
[Facilitator] We will invite them to a GA first. If we are happy we will look for consensus again.
[person] Can we interview them first
[Facilitator] we have never interviewed eachother that’s redundant
[Andy] I could get hells angels here. I do not like outside support helping us. We are Occupy. We do not have other movements coming in and working their own agendas.
[Facilitator] They would be joining the tranquillity team not replacing them.
[Andy] I will retract my objection
[Facilitator] I propose that we agree that RMT volunteers may join our tranquillity team. Max will broker the meeting as soon as possible. Then they will attend the GA immediately thereafter to meet the site. Then we test for consensus. If we are happy they will operate on a 50/50 basis with tranquility. They will exchange skills in peaceful de-escalation.
[Facilitator] We have consensus. Max will invite them to the GA.
[Andy] Why are these RMT members not already here as occupy? Why do they have to come as a police force.
[person] The GA today was interrupted. We can work with any organization that will work with us. We do not exclude people SO LONG AS they comply with our model. They must and will abide by our rules.
[Tammy] They are not coming to take over. They will learn from us at our GA about what we want from them and how we work. If we do not like them or they feel they can not work here then it ends.
[Caroline] My only concern would be coopting.
[Max] Yes, as part of the agreement and it is in writing – cooperation does not mean co-opting.
[Facilitator] Instead of saying occupy lsx the document (autonomy statement) should say occupy London.
[Ruth] I agree but on Wednesday, and afterwards, it should be clear that we expect that other WG’s should respect this document even if it does not have consensus.
[Facilitator] Should we do a temp check on this document?
(Facilitator reads out the statement)
Temp check please? It is overwhelmingly positive. Ruth would like a proviso that makes it binding.
[Ruth] No, I would like an agreement that it is brought to a GA on Wednesday, that all sites get sufficient copies in advance, if we can not discuss it on Wednesday then we expect those speaking on behalf of occupy London to consider it when they speak.
[person] The statement does not explain what happens if we…
[facilitator] sorry but that is more part of the GA discussion next time. Proposal is that it gets brought up on Wednesday. It can also be brought up on Thursday.
[John] I want it to be top of the agenda on Wednesday
[Andy] Thank the facilitator.
[Facilitator] So has everyone else.
[John] I was assaulted in the recent incident, can I have moral support to go to the Police station?
(overwhelming hands raised in support)
[Hassan] The Congolese really need our support on Wednesday.
[Tammy] We need to do something for Occupy as well. Can we plan a DA event.