GA minutes – 7pm Tuesday 10th January 2012
Event: Working Group Assembly
Date: Tuesday 10th January 2012
Location: Tent City University
Weather: Cold with a nearly clear sky
Explanation of hand signals.
[missed a few minutes]
Energy, Environment, Equity: Meeting on [couldn’t hear] Other meeting on [couldn’t hear]
Also have solar panels, charging up batteries slowly because of the low light. Are tweaking the system so it’s better.
Also got invited to house of commons debate chaired by Caroline Lucas and Unions.
Regular meeting on Wed and Sat at 5pm.
Comment: Was the House of Commons meeting publicised? Were others invited?
Response: It was specific to the environment, it was discussed within the group with a few days notice.
Internal Comms: Thanks for all the meeting information.
Planning to have three different calendars. One for events in TCU and other venues such as Bank of Ideas, one for working groups, and one for all online meetings.
Press: Trying to get more stories on to the website. Have a new group with a new process. Content will be checked for typos before going online.
Facilitator: Next working group?
Internal Comms arranged this meeting. Hoping to have this meeting every week at 7pm.
Next meeting will be 2pm on Friday.
Last Sunday at 2pm we have a very interesting meeting with all people doing online platforms. Just the first meeting. Another on Sunday at 2pm. Some people working on Wiki, on occupii.org, from livestream. Simply trying to meet, network, and share information.
Comment: Would you also like to put on the calendar international meetings, such as with Spain?
Comment: People should also ask for help with the working groups.
Comment: Are there online groups we can link up with?
Response: Yes there are lots of groups.
Comment: Have asked for all groups to be online. It is an injustice that only some groups are online.
Facilitator: Next working group?
International Outreach: Have been thinking about our aims. Have said we are about communication with other groups internationally, but we also need to communicate more with groups within Occupy London.
Regular meetings are Tue and Sat 5pm.
Main purpose is communication with other Occupys outside UK. Most of us are people from other countries, and we’re sure there are more people from the UK who would like to communicate with other Occupys, so if that’s you please join in.
Also working on how to work on a global statement. Probably a mailing list where we will post the one we already got consensus on at Occupy London.
Also we have had international call outs for days of action in May. We have been talking about what we can focus on. Other working groups are also thinking about May (15th and 12th) so if we could discuss it between us and also in Sheffield that would be great.
Comment: There is working group looking at 23rd -25th March Sunday at Bank of Ideas 6pm.
Response: That’s a different event.
Facilitator: Next working group?
Outreach: Lots of people at recent Outreach GA.
Today we were here but we were in a meeting with Occupy Wall St.
Web based stuff, mailing list. Regular newsletter with view to keeping people informed and getting list of names we can call on in threat of v
Plan to have meeting Mon 11am, Wed 2pm, and 6.30pm Thurs. Expecting delivery of 1000 badges.
Also how we can publicise our initial statement. Training. MLK Day. 25th Jan first anniversary of Egyptian revolution. If you have ideas for events on those days.
Outreach GA was excellent, youth community and so on. Minutes are online. Thinking about how we go out to groups and speak to people. We are speaking to friends and family and groups, but if could help to have a structure for that. Training session to shape how these interactions happen. Also about places we could do it. School children, university groups, local environment groups. Please come to see me if you’d like to help.
Sheffield meeting will be about strategy and also practical issues.
There is a wiki which you can put proposals for agenda items.
We seems to have lost a huge box of leaflets, we had two now we had one. If anybody at Bank of Ideas knows about this please let us know.
International Solidarity: Trying to support protests of ethic minorities. We don’t have enough people ready to come.
Regular meeting Thursday 5.30 pm.
Tent City University: Great groups are using this space. We’ve had a few double bookings, so please use the form.
It’s looking really nice and tidy, we could use more people.
Education: We’ve been doing outreach in schools.
Meeting 2pm Sat
Comment: Could you fill people in about MLK day on Sunday?
Response: Stumbled into meeting about it – there’s lots of speakers lots of food and music. Would be good to have support. Going to be a great day, creative art, Tanya will be filling us in over the next few days.
Comment: If you want to bring lots of people and they want to eat in the kitchen, then please tell the kitchen so they can make enough food.
Info: Great that people are telling us about their meetings and having meetings on site.
Meeting on Mon and Fri 5pm. Preparing for Banking GA on Friday 20th January. Conference at Bank of Ideas “Beyond Capitalism”.
Tax havens sub-group has been meeting. Pursing ideas about how tax havens might be dealt with.
Housing and land sub-group brought request to convene meeting to create working paper to promote provision of good and affordable housing. That was approved. Idea could have legs. Occupy needs some of these ideas to set new agenda and take us forward to practicalities.
Economics and Environment sub-group (meets Sat 3.30pm) has met twice. It was fun but nothing great has come so far. Hopefully it will because this is so important.
Have found democracy group, which is fundamental to Occupy. That bad democracy is challenged, that if Occupy can find the strength then hopefully we can move the democratic system we have.
Comment: When’s the Democracy group meeting?
Response: Next meeting of Democracy group will be next Monday at 6.30.
Also from Economics group: tour of canary wharf. Tax justice network has asked us to contribute to their next issue.
Very overwhelmed by things we have on our plate. Used to have 25 members but it’s tailed off.
Legal: We will have two days notice before we are due back in court. We need to think about potential eventualities, but we can make serious decision when the judgement comes, since there will probably be appeals and so on.
Comment [for Democracy]: Will you comment on proceedings “Justice and Security” currently going through parliament? I think that should be part of remit for democracy group. Can you comment?
Response: We’re just getting going, haven’t got as far as breadth and depth of policy concerns. Close to my heart is the hope that we have a parliamentary system that would be legally accountable to the people.
Comment [for Economics]: Is there any chance of publishing the statement? Could there be hard copies?
Response: We can think about that.
Comment: The Next Steps working group hasn’t been meeting. I don’t know who these people are.
Response: The Next Steps hasn’t been meeting for some reason. It has nothing to do with the legal group. There is a GA on Wednesday about it.
Comment: Question about panel with Tory and so on today?
Press: We had a very good event today. This came via Crime Investigation Unit. Event looking at Cobden Partners, executive bonuses, etc. it’s all unethical.
We don’t have platforms where it looks like Occupy is endorsing anything. Numerous events from TCU have used the “teach out” format. We didn’t want to offer Tories a platform without balancing it out. That’s why Cobden was there. What was good about it was that it took us away from the eviction issue. Journalists were asking questions about the issues. Come back with critiques and we will listen.
If you are doing an event, we have restructuring so we can handle all the information.
We have ani di franco coming. Might have a couple of free tickets for her show. Might be performing on Friday (TBC).
Doing something for 100 days (23rd January) for example PDF of all statements that have been made. There’s a discussion on Groupspaces about that.
We need people to help us.
MLK, events at Occupy Justice, trials, preparations for judgements, Xtrata witness statements and other things, a health event, Alan Moore came, Canary Wharf event on Thursday. Large list of events and news releases we are working through. We are trying to find a room at Bank of Ideas.
Please feed through reports of events so we can put it on website. If you would like to have your view point on the website, we have a new section called “Occupiers View”.
Also introducing a guest blog, first one from Congolese demonstrators.
Comment: Alan Moore was great when he came, very positive about the camp. He will be coming back.
[off topic discussion about Canary Wharf teach out today]
Facilitator: We’ve been here for nearly 1hr 10mins and people are beginning to leave, so let’s keep comments brief.
Criminal Investigations Unit: Event today, needed to check about Cobden Partners, issue about over stated profits, event went really well.
Also conference on Saturday. Sorry for that we didn’t communicate. We found out about event on Friday and on Saturday there was the conference, so sorry for not communicating very well.
Meeting Thursday 5pm.
Livestream: If we could arrange a time to record something about what your doing so viewers can get a clearer idea about what is happening?
Comment: If somebody wants to get involved in Livestream how do they do that?
Response: Please come to the Tech tent.
Comment: I’ve been asking about the Tech tent. I’m IT illiterate and need help. Are there are others?
Response: I used to work on project called UK online, have you heard of that?
Comment: Yes, that’s another problem.
Facilitator: Next group?
Finance: New system has been working quite well. All backlog of receipts from last year have almost been dealt with. Nearly got out own bank account. People who have problems with way finance works are being put on a list. Meeting 11am Monday to resolve these issues.
Please be patient! We are working really hard to put out information that people are asking for.
Comment: I know you are doing stuff to do with workers collectives, as we move forward to find ways for working groups to be more sustainable, whether we can look at ways of making working groups into worker collectives. If we could do something which fits with our ethics then perhaps we could help people who are working in the working groups.
Response: Yes we are looking at that. Incidentally, there will be a workshop about setting up a worker’s cooperative on 29th January.
Corporations: Lots of exciting things starting. Meetings at 1pm Mon 7pm Thurs.
Legal: If you have witness statements, photos, videos etc about Xstrata action then please let us have them because there are only a few days later.
Ruled By Nature WG: Spiritual group. Mother Earth has rights and certain level of authority. All values are based on things society has imposed. We need to reassess where we’re going, why we’re here, and what we are here to do. Not going to solve problems with our current mind set. Need to figure out what we’re up again, how we can tap into the right information and go in the right directions.
Trying to book meeting for Sunday afternoon. Friday 2-4pm TBC.
Comment: So many working groups working on similar subjects. Spiritual, environment, etc. Everybody tries to get somebody to work with you.
Response: What you say is true. This person started in environment group, but it wasn’t going where he wanted so he set up this.
Process: Next Wed Eviction, Fri Democracy, Sat Aims, Sun 1pm MLK.
Planning on Monday evening. Always looking for new ideas for discussions. Please drop a note into
Comment: We should do some planning for GA on Sunday, so issues come out in the way they should. We want people from Congo, woman asylum seekers. Maybe a few of us could get together and bring a proposal to GA on Friday?
Comment: I’m feeling like child catcher. There are lots of people who sit around. If any wants to pass on freeloaders to me [applause and laughter] … if you can encourage people to come to me. We know who is on site. Just encourage them to come to me, or encourage them to do something. Have taken a list of all the meetings. Would also like to welcome people from Bristol.
Kitchen: Getting really organised now. Before it was a total mess. People smoking in there, very unhygienic. Now it’s good. Need to involve more people. I’m doing evenings, another chef is doing breakfast and lunch. It’s a long job so we should involve more people in kitchen. People are always asking if we have cheese. Whatever we have we put on the front table. We’re not hiding anything. Some people just come into kitchen and just take what they want and they never ask if they can do something. We should participate in kitchen. We need energy so we need to eat. That’s why we need to help in the kitchen.
Facilitator: We’re onto comments and shoutouts. I’m going to make a stack, and then close it. Please raise your hand.
Comment: Suggesting voluntary work. Volunteering comes from the person who is volunteering. I’ve seen people saying: you can’t have tea because you haven’t done anything. I think that’s really dangerous. It’s not Occupy policy to do that.
Comment: Another shout out for skipping, if anybody feels confident, then buddy up with people so they feel more confident and will do it themselves at another time. We can make more use of the food that’s been wasted.
Comment: If anybody would like media training, then I’ve got some sheets to hand around.
Comment: I’ve been buying milk and putting it in the kitchen but people just drink it. We’re running down the bread and milk and tea. Please think.
Comment: Would like to thank the brother for saying what he said about the kitchen.
Also this Sunday, 8pm Roundhouse, Art of Politics, serious play about Occupy and other issues. They want to do a live link up. Wanted to let people know about that. Play is by Kay Adshead, renouned playwright.
Comment: Let’s be sure that on Tuesday we go to kitchen, store room, and so and make sure people can come. They get stuck in and it’s hard to get away. We need more than just the theoretical work.
We each need to do a turn doing the washing up. Would be shame if we don’t get to hear a little bit about what’s happening in Bristol.
Comment: I’m here from Occupy Bournemouth. Have had lots of sites wrecked.
Comment: Regarding drugs, it’s making us look bad. I was guilty but didn’t realise how important it was.
Also regarding donations, I’m going to get haters for saying this, but they are going to drink and drugs.
Response: No you’re not.
Comment: About shelter. Lots of people have tent, but don’t contribute to Occupy. They drink, shout, smoke, and it’s not good for Occupy site. I don’t mind homeless but they should participate. Otherwise it’s meaningless to use camp for their own benefit.
Facilitators: Few last points. Stack has gone all over the place. Five more, then we’ll close the mic. Just two or three sentences.
Comment: If you want to do speaker training, then put your name on this list so we can let you know when the speaker training events are.
Comment: Quite impressed by the organising. But when there were some tricky points being made, there were two reporters from important newspapers.
Response: That’s how it goes here. Issues come up and we deal with them. We do transparency.
Comment: Please come to livestream so we can arrange link ups.
Comment: Just quickly, this a political and social movement. Open door policy is part of this. Homeless people coming is a challenge.
Comment: Not all people causing trouble are homeless. Lots of people who are not homeless are using camp as a fun park.
Comment: Any eviction problems we have are just hurdles. Eventually we will win. One of our sister camps [Bristol] have received eviction papers and are going to be in court on Monday. Please welcome Liz and Gavin. [applause]
Facilitator: Thanks that the Working Group Assembly over. Will be another one next Tuesday. Thank you!
Comment: I’m from Bristol, so it’s great to see this going on. We’re just sitting in the mud now, so it’s great this is still going on.