GA Minutes – Wednesday 18th January 2012
Event: General Assembly
Date: Wednesday 18th January 2012
Location: Steps of St Paul’s
Weather: Mild, dry, slight breeze.
Facilitator: Had a great day, you should have seen their faces as we walked back here. St Paul’s is our home.
Legal: Occupy Justice: war, green issues, banking. Starting tomorrow.
Facilitator: If anybody has been involved with eviction working groups. And if there are any lawyers? Also opportunity for Tammy, George and Dan.
Peaceful Resistance: A workshop on ideas and techniques to do with peaceful resistance will be held on Saturday 21st January in Tent City University at 2-3pm.
This workshop is not only helpful for the current situation at St. Paul’s but also in all areas of our lives. Once upon a time I occupied Greenham Common and have used the strategies and inspiration I gained there.
Internal communications: Going to make sure communication is circulating. Try to get phone numbers of everybody.
Facilitator: The network is the most powerful thing we have. Get contacts.
Criminal Investigation Unit: If anybody wants to come and help, it’s about collecting documents. First case is a prosecution against a judge.
Facilitator: Are having working group feedback because the working group assembly was cancelled last night.
Outreach: Tomorrow 6.30 in Dome. Looking at Outreach over next weeks and months. Speaker training. Get involved.
Facilitator: Will be having discussion groups, but first Tammy.
Tammy: Today was a crock of shit, but we’re going to be putting our appeals in. Thanks for supporting me. All I want you to do is carry on Occupying. If you’re watchng livcstream, thank you. If you’re doing other things thank you. We’re all doing different stuff. Think back to how it was in the first few weeks. Keep the energy. Stop fighting, we need to be united. Carry on occupying.
Facilitator: My understanding of what happened in court today: judge found entirely for City of London. No concessions about health and safety and access to the church. Asked if defendants if they wanted to appeal. Judge said there were no grounds for appeal. City of London has given seven days to lodge an appeal, and that’s what the defendants will do. If there is no appeal they will implement the orders and injunctions after seven days.
Tammy: Difficult to stick for judge because he ruled against us, but he did comment on Occupy and thanked us for being good people, who believed in our cause, that we behaved morally throughout the case.
Comment: The judge screwed us, so the judge can stick his nice comments where the sun don’t shine.
Tammy: There has been no ruling on the church gardens.
Facilitator: We’re taking points on what happened today.
Comment: Case was about the highways act, moving people off the highway. But it wasn’t a comment about the protest. Let’s not start throwing things at the judge.
Comment: Judge said he made no comment on the merit of the protest. Made the point that it’s up to parliament to decide on the running of the City of London.
Dan: Thanks to everybody. We did put forward rationale for why we’re here. Disappointed that they didn’t include my argument in the summary. Thanks for the support. You’re all awesome.
Comment: First time I’ve spoken. I’m homeless. It’s all been so nice here. [breaks down] I just don’t want to have to leave. You’re all so nice. [applause]
Facilitator: It doesn’t matter who you are, banker, homeless, dressmaker, if you came here we love you.
Comment: Don’t worry, if we don’t occupy here, we’ll be occupying somewhere. The judge chose not to listen to our case. He didn’t balance the harms. He decided that the tents are a greater nuisance than all the things we’re protesting again. That was a choice he made. All through the case it looked like he was listening. We have to be persistent.
Comment: I walked into camp and didn’t know anybody. I’m sleeping here, cleaning toilets, feels like family. Judge seemed like a nice guy. He helped us to shape the arguments. Has given the opportunity to take case to next level. We can take it to European court.
Comment: Judge decided that we are obstructing people going to St Paul’s.
Comment: We are Occupy. We have to move from here to another site, and Occupy. The legal system is part of system we are challenging. Don’t loose hope. We occupy until we get change.
Tammy: People have moaned that we have homeless people who are Occupiers, but that’s not true. Other people say there are loads of problems. Watch Inka’s video.
Comment: Whether judge was nice or not isn’t the point.
Comment: Tranquillity do an amazing job. They look after me when I have fits. Got to get some more support. Get everybody you know. Use Twitter. I don’t know about Facebook. [laughter]
Facilitator: Do we have any more thoughts
Comment: Shoutout to Tony and others.
Comment: It’s been awesome. In next few months, I’m here to make things better.
Comment: Since come to London is 1967, got a job on the railways, saw homeless person sleeping on stations. Helped everybody I saw. Eventually had every telephone number for homeless person’s office from Cockforesters to … . Got talking to people are realised there were 20-30 homeless people here. I was concerned that they would come here like they did at Dale Farm and throw people out of their homes. I am a voter in this constituency. Went to housing section of Corporation of London, told them when they come a clear St Paul’s there will be 20-30 people and asked what are they going to do about it. Told them their statutory duty. They categorically assured me they would take action. They said they would liaise with lawyers from Corporation, and when the eviction comes, they would come and help. I’m just doing what I’ve done since ’67.
George: Not sure what to say. We put forward case about pressing social issues. But he ignored that. Left it out of the balancing argument. If you leave out our arguments then of course the balance is in favour of City of London. If we’re not here we’ll be doing other things. Get different groups to different occupations. Theatre. Love. Get things happening in as many places as possible.
Comment: We are the longest occupation. We have welfare service. People have learnt how to do all sorts of things, e.g. livestreaming.
Comment: Never expected justice under this system. Tomorrow we are going to have a small demo outside the foreign office about threat of attack on Iran.
Comment: Next Steps WG are holding meetings everyday at 4pm in Tent City University. Please come, especially homeless people, if you want support.
Comment: City of London are like nazis and this is Dunkirk. We will be back stronger.
Comment: Along same lines of what happens next, what we didn’t have were crowds. The celebrities, the Trade Unions, they will come and support us. We have time to get that mobilised. Even if they can drive us out, we will accomplish a huge amount if we can get that support mobilised. A lot attention has been paid to what we do here. They key is thinking about what are we going to be doing with people outside. We need to start ball rolling, asking people what they are going to do.
Facilitator: Important to remember Sheffield conference. Important to remember Occupies in the US. They are being incredibly resistant. They have organised an event in DC and we should support that. We have taken a lot of points. Would people like to carry on? Or a boogie? [yes] Before we break up, are there any shoutouts. Something we did talk about in Process is having a GA on Sunday. On Friday there will be a GA on Banking. Not sure about Saturday. This planned discussion for this evening on Relationships will be rescheduled. Do we want to have a celebration on 100th day?
Comment: Not sure about the brain drain to Sheffield when we might be being evicted.
Facilitator: We won’t be evicted on Sunday. It’s a chance to celebrate the success we’ve had, as political movement, as philosophical movement. Perhaps we should invite our supporters. Is anyone prepared to organise the celebration?
Thanks for having the GA outside on steps of St Paul’s.
Shoutout: We are in 2012. Very important year. We would like to stay for 2012. We ask for one year to prove we are worth having by our results.
Shoutout: Collecting our successes. Some people are starting to talk our language. We are having an impact. Staying after removal of tents: can get Arctic suits. Explore frameworks in Bank of Ideas. to help people to act more effectively.
Shoutout: To livestream and online groups: there has been a huge campaign about piracy bill in US. Various websites have gone offline today. Looks like bill is being delayed.
Shoutout: The Friday we are going to be evicted: make protest against price of fuel and low insulation. “Warm up.” Possibly a bank. If you’re interested please let me know.
Shoutout: The truth will prevail.
Tammy: Going to be quick one because we want some music. I have requested a song that I want you to listen to, to dance to, and to keep in your hearts for ever.
[music: The higher you build your barriers, the higher I become. ... There's something inside so strong. ... Something inside so strong. ... ]