General Assembly Minutes 28/10/2011
Facilitator : James
Facilitator introduces the culture and techniques of consensus. A decision in process was made that at the start of every GA someone will introduce consensus processes.
Alan wilson is a priest – interested what is happening here, re thinking money people, things that really matter. Jesus was more interested in radical ways of life than in dogma. Thanks crowd for letting them sing medieval songs.
Reminder that tommorow at 3 pm open forum with speakers from varietz of faiths, event is called the sermon on the steps. Asks if person contacting family day to contact roman.
Energy equity and environment group – want to set up a tent for these issues, Looking for a tent to be dontated, have solar panels. Solidarity messages from leeds MP re venezuelan and latin american movements against neoliberalism. Solidarity from york democracy camp.
Story telling group to be set up.
Various poems read out etc
Working Groups Feedback
Process group meets at 10am every day.
Group to work with liberty and to decide who will be delegated to meet with city/church will meet Saturday Noon in university tent.
Rubbish picking up and recycling will now be done by volunteers from each working group. Each working group will have to take responsibility for cleaning site to keep it safe and healthy.
Flo from outreach says they need more people to volunteer to give out flyers at public locations such as train stations etc.
Legal team says that the police will be trying to find any excuse to come down hard and clear the camp in the next few days and will probably send in people to cause disruption and conflict. Camp should not be provoked and remain peaceful if this occurs.
Activist film making workshop to be held at 3pm Saturday – meet outside Starbucks.
Issue of decision made in emergency GA that LIBERTY should be involved in negotiations.
The discussion was not to come back on the decision that was made but to look at how it was made and what the process was. The decision to bring the head of Liberty to the camp was made at the 22nd October GA as well as having an exceptional meeting at 8am to do this.
The head of Liberty came to this meeting a number of people expressed discomfort with choosing Liberty as facilitators in the negotiations as many people did not see Liberty as sufficiently trust worthy and had issues with their involvement with the police and government in the past. Someone said that they had had a problem with it but as consensus was reached they were now in the working group to work with Liberty. There was a general feeling that the process had been rushed.
FEEDBACK from small group discussions on the 2 proposals for statements.
One set of demands was targeted at the city of London and called for a democratic reform of the square mile and its institutions. The other was a set of demands that would be made by the global occupy movement in time for the G20 meetings in Nice. 10 groups of 10 people (approx) discussed whether 1) they thought that the camp should have demands 2) discussed the wording and content of the proposed documents. (link to documents on line ? )
Not comfortable with the idea of demands, they seem to restrictive and risk over focusing what occupy lsx stands for. Objectives, values or goals might be a better frame. The City of London statement should be reworded as an educational document rather than demands. With regards to the international Statement the group was happy with the spirit of it but would propose: 1) replace word environment with ecology (as the concept of environment suggests humanity as separate and surrounded by nature as opposed to being part of it)_ 2) Put more emphasis on the differential of power between groups, eg: people of colour, gender etc.. 3) That these are only first steps and not long term goals.
International statement is great, would like it bigger. They suggested a series of steps from process to implementation. Bringing out a different document for each step.
Felt it was time for demands. Supportive of city of London demands but would propose an amendment that says this is not final and that more demands maybe be added. Regarding International statement, acknowledges work put into it, felt current wording a bit fluffy and inadequate, issues to be included:
1) taxes in more depth
2) Borders and freedom of movement of people needs to be added 3) Issues of resources extraction needs to be there.
Concern regarding time frame, wanted to know when deadline for finalising statements was. Proposal to make City Demands the basis for a teach in.
International Statement should be shorter and terser and should have slave labour added. Now is the time to make demands.
Happy with international statement. Proposes to replace the word Military with conflict or wars as the military are human beings. Regarding City Demands, group was very disturbed by the process through which it had been proposed: it was seen as totally non democratic, pushed through and the group evoked doubt as to the “leak” to the press. The proposal is strong but includes many elements that people have just heard about and they need more time to digest it. The group felt so strongly about the lack of democracy in the process that these demands were made that they felt they could block it as a result.
Regarding general question of demands there were 2 views in the group:
1) its important to make demands to answer critics who are pressuring us to make them, to show what we want
2) This is a space for discussion and that we should not be expected to come up with solutions for problems we did not create.
Regarding City Demands, further work needed, language not accessible and educational workshop would be welcome. Problem that it attacks city of London because it is different from the UK and yet group felt that the UK system itself is problematic.
Proposal to describe the city of London as unaccountable. There was an issue with the use of the word democracy as people are turned off by it and what it has come to represent.
People uncomfortable with idea of reforming institutions that they don’t believe in, whilst other people felt we had to make realistic demands. A compromise was reached to put the words “ So long as the city and capitalism exists”.
Why the issue of reconciliation is there? They should be prosecuted.
Regarding International Statement.
1) still problem with word Democracy
2) Tax section needs more work.
3) Proviso that its clear that this is only an Opening Salvo.
3) many people were uneasy with the notion of Occupation and they suggested a reworking of the text that reads “ As people occupying the place where we live and work we also condemn states and armies occupying other people’s lands, including for example Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti and Palestine”
International demands lacked a true international perspective. Suggested that the demands should be called proposals.Regarding City Demands, It was a breech of process. The document could be used for raising awareness however, but it is inaccessible and takes focus away form what is going on here. Members of the group were deeply shocked to see it in the media and to see that they were later supported by Millibands intellectual advisor.
Like both demands. Thinks there should be an educational event around the City Demands, but that it should not be put as a statement.
International proposals need to have more about education and issues of emotions and overcoming fear with love should be included.
City Demands need revising but good that its makes demands linked to the belly of the beast where we are camping. International proposals are wishy washy.
International Proposal was too vague. Issues of colonialism and gender should be included. In City Demands, issue of reconciliation are misplaced. One half of group thought it was a strong statement other thought they were not the first demands that spring to mind from this movement and that it reduces us to particular micro issues.