GA Minutes – 7pm Monday 28th November 2011
Location: St Paul’s Steps
Event: Evening General Assembly of Occupy LSX
Date: Monday 28th November
Started: 7.40pm (after the church service)
Announcement: Please help the tranquillity team.
Announcement: Times and places of spokes and coordination meetings.
Legal: Court date on December 19th. Need to win it because otherwise nobody would be able to come to St Paul’s for sanctuary.
Corporations: Got statement in Guardian today.
Facilitator: Statement from process about finding out what is going on, and about how to register proposals and discussion topics….
Facilitator: Hand signals….
Facilitator: Over the Mark to explain proposal.
Mark: Have been working on real democracy and people’s assemblies. Hope you have piece of paper with proposed statement.
Will have another session on Saturday.
First want to propose event in Putney. Big debate in 1647, parliamentary forces were in the ascendant. Giles Fraser was priest at St Mary’s. Correct a mistake they made. If agreed, there would be an event on 14th January. World day of action is being called.
Facilitator: Goes for consensus. Consensus was achieved.
Announcement: There will a discussion in the working groups, and on forum occupylondon.info.
Mark: Explains the statement. The government has been taken over by corporations, and majority have lost their voice. Proposal is about establishing people’s assemblies to reconstitute a new place for people. 2m people on strike because their voice is not heard any more. We are building on what has been achieved so far, the few rights that are remaining, to build a new democracy.
Facilitator: Points of clarification. Does anything need to be clarified? No.
Is there disagreement? If so, please do you want to come and tell us about it.
Mark: Reads statement. [insert statement]
There is already two questions for clarification that have been raised: who are we calling for? and how do we want it to happen? We are calling for everybody to be involved.
Objection: Two major objections. Firstly don’t think it should go into initial statement. The initial statement is simple, and inserting the statement would detract from the simplicity. Secondly, it’s quite arrogant to tell people to do things. They should be able to decide how they organise. Our model is not without its problems, and we shouldn’t tell people what they should be doing.
Objection: Wouldn’t be happy to insert this into initial statement. Can see statement coming from working group. Shouldn’t try to give “the solution”, we are testing this here, we are discovering something, and calling for other people to hold assemblies is wrong.
Objection: Not against people’s assemblies, but it would be a mistake to mess up the initial statement. It complicates things. There is no strategy here. Our problem isn’t a lack of assemblies, but we need more resistance and to build a movement. So I think it is the wrong time to be putting this proposal.
Objection: Good to keep initial statement as it is. Don’t need to tell people what to do. We can say no to things we don’t like. Statement is a positive thing already.
Objection: Bringing objection from somebody who couldn’t be here tonight: We need to be clear about what people’s assemblies are and how they work. It’s a kind of imperialism. Also the language used is a bit marxist.
Objection: Three points: All people have to do work of General Assembly. Should not be telling people what to do. Questions about how the general assembly should be working. So we are talking about the formation of working groups: people should join proper working group, that’s how it works.
Objection: Problem with phrase “truly democratic.” We do have some democracy. Tone of statement is wrong. We don’t need an alternative, we need to improve what we have.
Objection: Shouldn’t use the word “liberation” because that implies we were ever free.
Objection: Shouldn’t “express” people’s “voice”, but should be the people.
Mark: It isn’t absolute. There is some strategy.
Amendment: We call for the formation of people’s assemblies … across the country where nobody will be excluded and where the people’s voice will be heard.
Objection: Calling on people to do X, Y, Z isn’t how we built the movement. We called on people to protest, to take action. Not to have talking shops.
Objection: Have problem with phrase “call up on”. We can say “this is what we are doing, and invite you to join us.” That’s more who we are.
Objection: Would like to use “encourage” rather than “call upon”. Trying to encourage the idea to continue, and the energy to go into as many places as possible.
Facilitator: We have heard a lot of objection. There was some enthusiasm for simplified proposal. Should whole proposal go back to working group? Do we have consensus on whether this should go back to working group? Any blocks? Yes.
Objection: From reaction to questions, people are not willing to air their concerns. So I propose that people talk about it, and that we postpone.
Mark: If you disagree, the most important thing is that you get involved in working group. Otherwise we are second guessing.
Word about occupations: loads of people love proposals for a different way of going forward. Loads of people don’t understand what we are proposing. What we need is something that they feel they can take part in, many can’t be involved in an occupation. The idea of calling for people’s assemblies is to create a way to get people to discuss the issues they have, to create a more sophisticated analysis. Perhaps we need a debate about the point of people’s assemblies. We are pushing them because they are accessible. RMT thought it would be a good idea.
Response: Outreach are thinking of things that people can do. There is no short cut through “calling for assemblies”. The idea of calling for people to join working group doesn’t work. People are working on stuff that they think will work, and don’t want to invest in things they don’t think will work.
Facilitator: Nobody is against idea of assemblies? [agreement] But don’t think we are going to get any further with this tonight. Can we leave it there? Yes.
Shoutout: Legal: Solicitor will be in Info tent tomorrow morning at 10.30am.
Shoutout: Shelter: Would like everybody to tell friends that if they turn up please go to library where they can find a contact number. Call this number and we will fit you in.
Shoutout: Welfare: Tent blew away. Finance told us to put a proposal together.
Shoutout: Request for somebody with a printer to help print flyers for N30 demonstration. Come to me now (or in a little bit).
Shoutout: Tomorrow night we will be voting on funding for paper (£350 per week).
Shoutout: There was a painting that there was a dispute about it being taken down. Was said it would go to GA. Concerned that it has been taken down without consensus. Based on a piece of art, if anybody sees it knows who has it, please tell us so we can have discussion about people’s stuff being taken down without consensus.
Shoutout: Request for urgent patience during this process.
Shoutout: Anybody know passwords for Facebook page?