GA Minutes – Saturday 28th January 2012
Event: General Assembly
Location: Tent City University
Date: 28 January 2012
Weather: Cold, no wind. partly cloudy, low crescent moon, stars.
Facilitator: Mark W
[minutes for first few minutes of meeting to be inserted]
International Outreach: Want to send a call out for support for eviction. We wanted to test for consensus.
Occupy London is part of a world wide movement…. We have stood in solidarity with…. Now it is our turn to call for solidarity. [Tests for consensus... very warm]
Facilitator: We have a comment.
Legal: The City of London have agreed not to take any action until after the applications for appeal have been considered. That may be start of next week, it may be Wed or Thurs. So the earliest anything can happen is after their meeting on the 31st after their ratification. I will feedback. We need to assume 31st is day of action. If appeal applications are agreed, we will ask for stay of execution until the appeals have been considered. Therefore we may be here for some time.
Joey: If appeals are allowed, how long will we have.
Legal: No idea. I will try to let everybody know as soon as I know.
Kris: If we loose appeal what is chances we can go to European Court.
Legal: If we loose our appeal, our lawyers want to take it to European Court. There are lots of cases, and if we take it there, then the site will probably be cleared before any case is heard at the European Court.
Jamie: Would like to know you two are in contact. We don’t want to call for support and put others at risk if we are staying.
International: Yes we don’t want to harm anybody.
Facilitator: So we don’t do the call out before we know about the appeals.
Facilitator: [Tests for consensus.... consensus reached]
Comment: [couldn't hear]
Response: We aren’t forcing anybody to do anything.
International: I am from Middle East. Don’t worry, nobody will do anything to support London that will put them at risk. [laughs]
Comment: Can it be done with Easter European countries only?
Response: Can people work with with International WG to work this out?
Comment: Yes, I will.
Facilitator: We got consensus on that. Let’s move on.
Now we are going on to working group feedback. Who is in a working group who has things to feedback?
[an orderly queue is formed] [laughter]
International: Would be great to have as much evidence as possible about the great things that have happened here. For example Tent City University, number of session, workshops, etc. From each working group it would be nice to have the achievements, actions, and so on. It’s just a proposal, if people would like to contribute.
Eviction: Have been making lots of preparations. We have loads of food stuffs. [interruption from Sister Ruth] Foil blankets. Trained first aider. [interruption from Sister Ruth] Stuff we want to keep as been withdrawn and stored safely. Kris “Bodger” has done a brilliant job. The thing we’re after is Thermos flask. If you put the word out for Thermos flask. [interruption from Sister Ruth]
Comment: Tomorrow we are having a workshop on non-violent resistance. It’s at 2-4pm tomorrow in Tent City University. Really encourage everybody to come. You will need to implement these skill quickly. It’s not training just skill sharing. Only mention because nobody has come to previous one.
[discussion about TCU scheduling conflict]
Comment: Was at eviction in New York, good to have these skills.
?: Looking at brown field sites. Most are old council sites, old libraries for disposal. Have list of 60 sites and are trying to get people involved in looking at the sites. Would be great if you could give your email address.
Comment: Have you had any meeting?
Response: Yes, at 3 last Friday.
Next Steps: 3pm everyday. Monday talking about the brown field sites.
Outreach: We have speaker training. If you know any organisations who would like us to speak at our events, then please let us know.
Environment: 5 Feb 2pm to talk about how 1% are trashing the environment. George Mombiot and other. Also looking at strategic vision, will be bringing it to the GA.
Comment: How will we find out where it is?
Environment: It on Facebook (“LSX Energy Equity Environment”).
Welfare: Tomorrow, Sunday 11.30pm and 2pm, will be having discussions around mental health and alternatives to mainstream services. Last time it was very interesting. We are present on site if anybody needs to talk to somebody.
Corporation: Waiting to find out date of court case against Xstrata protesters. We are researching and want to do a protest outside the court.
Schools: Broad cross section of camp. Went down really well. Going to get feedback from the school. Work out template for going forward. Want as many people as possible to join in so we have competent groups to go into schools. From Friday next week. There is an email address firstname.lastname@example.org . We need people with education skills. Each groups needs at least one person who has education skill and who has passed CRB check.
Comment: Need everybody to ?? so youth can participate on democracy. Please “friend” “occupy citizenship” on Facebook.
Livestream: Livestream is main means of [interruption from Sister Ruth] mean of protection from police abuse. Everybody has smart phone, app called Bamboozle. Please download this app. Need as many people streaming as possible. All of you can be a streamer. Whatever you are streaming will be saved online. It’s the most powerful weapon we have so please use it.
Next Step: Lots of activity being discussed. Concern in last meeting [waits for the 8pm bells...] was the next steps of Occupy. Main concern was our relationships internal and external. We came to stumbling block. There are some things we can do but need legal basis, may need an organisation which could conflict with principles of Occupy. Group is called “Core Values”. Two things kept coming up: Statement of Autonomy; definition of who we are. After consulting and reading lots, we are not members of Occupy but are supporters. People need to ask themselves what they are doing and what they want to achieve. Nobody will be speaking or acting on behalf of Occupy unless GA has agreed. So we think we can create an organisation as a working group supporting Occupy. Pray for us. We hope we can succeed.
GA group: We meet at 5pm before each GA. GAs are Wed Fri and Sat. Please come and help. There are lots of roles to fill. We also meet on Monday 2-4pm for GA scheduling meeting, to schedule upcoming meeting. Also meet between 2-4pm for issue resolution meeting, to think about improving the GA. We would really like more people to come in and give us a hand.
Comment: Suggestion, many groups meet in the evening, then you might get more people.
GA group: We’ll consider that.
Occupied Times: Editor has stepped down. Loads of people have decided to pull together. Occupied Times will be continuing despite any eviction. There isn’t an editor, there is just a few of us doing editing.
Comment: I’m a supporter. We don’t get updates on the website. With so many people watching, we need to get as many updates as possible. Will be looking for updates to the website. Want to pass it on to our communities. People want to come and help in case of eviction.
James V: Have been building a new website to allow groups to put stuff on website, but only in the coming weeks.
Steve F: Suggest that we could ask Matt to get the message out there? Haven’t asked Matt yet.
Comment: Could we investigate using SMS?
Facilitator: Are we happy to move on?
Livestream: If you SMS “Follow @occupylsx” to 86444 you will receive updates from Twitter
Facilitator: Okay that was working group feedback. We don’t have much of a plan. So perhaps we can take comments on how people are feeling about the eviction. How do people feel about that?
Comment: Really like the idea, but it would be good to have a time limit?
[discussion about doing a shoutout - shoutout allowed]
Shoutout: Friend from Leeds doing workshop on worker cooperatives 2pm tomorrow Sunday. Radical Roots. Will be good.
[follow on shoutout about meeting announced earlier...]
Facilitator: We have time for shoutouts later guys… So how do people feel about doing this exercise? No objections, so perhaps people could get into groups of about 7 people?
[discussion groups 8-8.38pm]
Shoutout: Stop The War Coalition gives support to Occupy!
Shoutout: Am involved in a campaign (Wandsworth Against the Cuts) and we have been supporting a woman and her 8 year old child who were threatened with eviction by Wandsworth Council because her son has been involved in the riots. We thought it was completely unjust to threaten families in council houses because they weren’t threatening people in private housing. So we organised a local meeting with excellent speakers from Liberty and Defend Council Housing and others. We got over 60 people and now the council have backed down and they are not going to evict her. However other families in other London boroughs such as Southwark and Greenwich are still under threat. Wandsworth Against the Cuts would like to bring a solidarity statement to Occupy London’s General Assembly in protest against these unjust evictions.
[supportive noises and jazz hands]
Shoutout: Kitchen… There was a big queue for food. There was a discussion about only feeding Occupy people. I said we would feed everybody because they are hungry. He was angry. He said I was not an Occupier. Second night same thing. I have been staying here for a long time. I have left my home. I have been cooking nice food for everybody in the kitchen. Some people are so greedy they rob the food from the kitchen and cook it in their own tents. We should help each other. Kitchen is run with donations and food is not for people to take for themselves. So Sunday is last day. I’m going to still be here. But too much drunken people. He’s abusing his power. So he should no longer be in security group.
Comment: We had somebody who was behaving in this way. We got witnesses and said we would press charges.
Kitchen: If we can sort this out in our way, that would be better. We can’t go with every single person. He spat on my face, told me to go home or there would be trouble. He shouldn’t drink. How can he look after us if he is drinking. If duty security drink and stay in their tents and eat all the food. I think we should call him here.
Facilitator: I’m not prepared to get involved in that. If somebody does want to get involved that would be okay.
Comment: Can a group of us get together afterwards?
[discussion about intimidation against kitchen staff]
Comment: I’m happy to help out. I don’t mind you, if he threatens me then I will call the police.
Facilitator: Let’s not discuss this further here.
Comment: It takes a lot of courage to raise this issue so thanks very much Mohammed. [loud applause] I think we need to take action against this. Tranquillity need tranquillising!
Kitchen: They always take the food. When I cook nice food with meat they come and take it.
Comment: We need to address this immediately.
Facilitator: This is an important issue. Perhaps we need a GA about it.
Comment: I’m aware of all the problems but will be supporting the movement despite all the problems.
Facilitator: Okay well thanks for a lovely meeting. That’s the end of the GA.