GA Minutes – 7pm, Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Location: St Paul’s Steps
Event: Evening General Assembly of Occupy LSX
Date: Wednesday 23 November
Started 7.20pm (after band finished)
Facilitator: Welcome to new people…
Announcement: Tomorrow’s lunchtime GA will be all about the lunchtime GAs and internal coordination between the sites.
Process group feedback: Have been doing more streamlining, to make process more efficient and democratic. Process means: general assembly planning on Monday and Thursday 2-4pm, collect proposals and discussion topics – come to the meetings, see me after and we can put you on the process list; and meeting support. Have been working on a pamphlet to explain how the camp works. Great design. Please have a look. Another strand is process development and reflection. Had a meeting today about “what is consensus”, about the hand signals we use, etc. Second part of meeting is on Friday. We are clarifying what a block is, how we space for discussion, objections, ammendments, etc. so GA can carry on with its agenda. If you want to come, please let us know so we can get you up to speed about what is being discussed. We are also thinking about the GAs, so if you have any suggestions, please let us know.
Internal communications: Have new forum: www.occupylondon.info Please give suggestions about how to improve internal communication. Meeting tomorrow at 3.30, welcome to come along. Monday 3pm event coordination in Ye Olde London pub.
Corporations: Have had great discussions about improving Corporations statement. Copies are in info. Will be brought to Friday evening GA.
Multi-faith group: Having speakers from multi-faith group straight after GA.
Environment group: Environment group still working on getting solar panels for camp. Hope to have more progress next week. Big Green Day will be happening 17th December, speakers, workshop, entertainments. National day of action on 3rd December.
Shelter: Shelter always picking up pallets and things to keep the camp warm. If anybody would like to donate or lend a van to pick things to keep the site warm, please let us know.
Press: Press release about court hearing. Reads out press release…
[insert press release] Court date on Monday 19th December. Hearing will take a few days. Judgement will be made a few days after that.
Press team is going to cover events on November 30th. Lots will be happening then. If you want you event covered, please fill in press form.
Mobile support: We go around being helpful. Please contact us if you need something.
Occupy times: There is a new issue out today.
Facilitator: Discussion will be creative open debate.
Firstly find out what people want to talk about. Go into groups of ten. Let people talk about things that matter to them. Few examples: could discuss people’s suffering due to costs of fuel and gases (report highlighting how many people die during winter months, think about to strike next week, care for families, what does work mean, talk about some interesting topics, not just ones we have been having). Bear with us because this is a new thing.
Breaks into discussion groups…
Group 1: Climate change; how to make change (Occupy more meaningful than going on a march); technology creates disconnect. Other random things.
Group 2: Media and camp reputation. Have template to use each time Standard, Times, etc. publish a positive article about us (eg bins for needles is a positive thing, but is put in a negative light – need to make it stop)
Group 3: Firstly thanks to kitchen etc who do unwaged work can’t always be here. Wanted to link that with welfare, how unwaged work. People use benefits to do unpaid welfare work. Wanted to take position on welfare reform bill. Link with waged and unwaged workers. Discussion at GA on Saturday about November 30th. Food waste, how market controls everything. 1/3 of food is wasted. Camp could grow some of its own food.
Group 4: Rising cost of living (food energy rent) making it difficult to do anything. Small businesses vs large corporations. More direct action (taking it government, make if more difficult to ignore us). Greed and insecurity, acceptance and love. Bring student groups into camp, and reach out into other groups (somebody from Occupy going to student and workers unions) to bring everybody together. Preservation of rain forests. Get message out there, and try to bring more people here. Main stream media is trying to put things is a bad light, we need to put positive spin. Everybody should go and support local groups.
Facilitator: Summarises topics and asks for temperature check. Suggestion for groups to pick their own topic.
Group 1: Schools have started to do citizenship classes. Cameron has decided to make it optional. Try to make them compulsory. Citizenship democracy games. Rainforest: not a trendy concept at the moment, how vital it is to preserve rainforest. Government is wanting to use tax payers money to subsidise palm oil.
Group 2: We have allowed enemy to define structures as tents. If we are not allowed to sleep in tents, get people involved in “spirit stores” We would be passing out reading from “spirit stores”. Go out onto tubes, and bring people’s support back here.
Announcement: Library has a working group, do come along to working group every Thursday at 8pm if you would like help in the library.
Multi-faith group: Going to have speakers now….
Group 3; Networking, get spokespeople to schools to talk about EMA and tuition fees, get them in process of talking about things (have assemblies), and issues that might affect. Get process group involved in that. Target affected people with specific issues. Leafleting would be effective. Could have printers to donate small print runs. Food waste, setting up soup kitchens, reach out to elderly, pressure food companies to give food that is not in sell-by date but not use-by date to people that actually need it. Symbolic demonstration or rituals about drinkable water at ground level. Edible fruit trees instead of decorative trees. Use community spaces to grow food. Trying to somehow engage with public and private sector workers. Show private sector workers that public sector issues relate to them, and will ultimately affect them (and their children).
Tayo Aluko: Sings “Joshua … and the walls came tumbling down.” Paul Robeson said, “don’t mourn for me, organise.” Sings Joe Hill…
Shoutouts: Dreadful abuse of the camp by the press. Press is infiltrated by people paid to destroy this campaign. Prepared to meet with anybody to coordinate protest to surround their offices so they can’t bring out their rag. [applause]
Shoutouts: Film in Tent City University….