GA Minutes – 7pm Saturday 3rd December 2011
Minutes for the General Assembly 7pm
Co Facilitator: none
Intro: Consensus explained, hand signals, Agenda read out
Working Group Feedback:
International Commission: 10th December is Human Rights Day. There will be talks in the TCU. Meet at BofI on 4th December @ 5pm to coordinate.
Health and Safety: Corporation of London has cut off the water.
Press WG: Press release for 15th December, Occupy Everywhere. Email the Press team for suggestions.
Shelter Group: Introduce themselves. They have been removing and storing empty tents. Propose to remove dogs from camp or have a dog zone.
TCU: On the 15th December is the ‘Free University’ day of classes.
Corporations: Next meeting is Tuesday 11am at Salvation Army café.
Church Liaison: Several talks being planned for the near future. They have a proposal tonight.
Proposals: If you have General Assembly discussion topics or proposals meet on Monday and Thursday at 14:15 at the Salvation Army Café for long term planning for the GA.
First Aid: Is being restructured so that it is one WG for all three sites.
New Working Groups set up:
Practicality WG: Will be addressing empowering people t deal with space, alcohol, drugs and disrespect. A series of proposals will be brought to the GA group on Monday.
On-Line: Covering the websites. Sites are three weeks old, 40 members.
>Climate Action bday. Global protest today as well as a climate justice teach in on the steps.
>Question asked regarding the Church Liaison proposal to hold talks with the FSA.
>Church Liaison response is that things will be made more clear in a few days via the GA.
On the Church Proposal
- We propose that the protest has a limited presence with an information tent outside the cathedral.
- We propose that the General Assembly continues to meet on the steps of Saint Pauls at regular intervals.
- We will also look at making the protest visible inside the church through, for example, a symbolic tent, visual art, and acts of worship.
- We would like to extend an invitation for representatives of the protest to work creatively with both the Cathedral Forum and the Saint Paul’s Institute to further public debate.
- We recognise the importance of public space in which to hold meetings and debate and, while we have nothing specific to offer right now, we are prepared to help the protest to identify and negotiate the use of such space in the City.
- Building on existing initiatives like, for example, Ken Costa’s initiative and the work of the St. Paul’s Institute, we are committed to the dialogue between politicians and the protest to discuss pathways to effective legislation through Parliament to address the causes of some of the injustices.
Group1: Ken Costa has a lot of Business experience. It would be better that he was on our side than opposed to us. This sets a historical precedent where by people protest and the message gets taken up by popular powers. We should test the sincerity of the Church by asking them to supply our camp water.
Group2: The Church has two sides to it and this proposal looks like it originates from the lesser of the sides (money lenders). Most of the points are fine except for scaling back. We would loose a wide cross section of support. Would we be able to return (would the offer still be on) if we were evicted off of the site.
- Response by the Church Liaison Group is that this offer stands whether we leave voluntarily or are evicted.
- Response by the Church Liaison Group that we should make our own decisions without preconditions from the church. Do not forget what we are here for. There were some outstanding issues of concern with the way this proposal came about.
- Response by the Church Liaison Group that despite those outstanding issues the offer still stands and apology made to the previous speaker (Church Liaison volunteer) who felt his views had not been taken into account during the discussion on this proposal within the group.
Issues: Alcohol and drugs use on the rise in the camp. Use of violent words and behaviour, threatening language makes this an unsafe camp especially for women. Several outstanding incidents occurred such as one female who had a drunk come into her tent. Also raise the issue of dogs urinating all over camp and dog fights.
Group 1: We should think about rearranging the way we sleep and get Tranquility to help with this.
It’s not ok to treat Tranquility with disrespect – not ok to call people Fascists. There are self defence classes at the Bank of Ideas. We need less them and us with Tranquility. There should be a blurring of the lines. Everybody has a role in keeping the peace, and can work for and with Tranquility. If there is violence we need not tolerate it; we should involve the police.
Group 2: Suggestion we have padlocks and posters on the Tents. Suggestion that we should put a description and photograph of any attacker in the info tent & distribute this at the General Assembly so people can watch out. Concern that we would need a proper process, not summary justice – isn’t that the Police’s job? We should hold people to account. If there are any violent acts, or threat of violence, we should support victims with statements and go to the police. Perpetrators of violence and threats of violence should be held to account – that is the police’s and criminal justice systems role. There is also a problem of anti social behaviour . Generally we need more accountability on camp. Tranquillity sometimes use force rather than de-escalation . This is not a good approach. We need to develop skills. We have received offers of help from TCU , they have offered trained individuals to help with Tranquility . Some people thought this would be a valuable help and we needed more people to help and these people had skills to offer,
others raised questions about their powers and the risks of alienation if we had external volunteers. Suggestion that women could have rape alarms and bells, however concern that the focus should be on changing the perpetrators not the victims behaviour. Suggestions that we work on creating a less macho culture. Comment that someone who was threatened did not feel adequately supported by someone from Tranquility . It is important that victims feel supported. We should have zero tolerance of violence. Rearranging the camp so it is less a place for partying and and more a place of politics; we could have a camp for living and a camp for dealing with politics , then the security issues become more containable. We should look at the model used at Amsterdam, they have done this.
- It is Saint Pauls Cathedral Birthday! A card is being passed round to sign.
- One individual wants a shoutout but facilitator refuses to allow him as he is drunk and has been trying to grab the mike throughout the entire General Assembly. He is asked to reflect on his bad behaviour and come back to the General Assembly tomorrow.
Facilitator draws the General Assembly to a close.