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Occupy London General Assembly: April 2014

 
5 april GAIt wasn’t as sunny as the March Assembly but 80 people attended, along with two police vans and a quantity of police, who checked how long OL intended to stay, then watched from a distance.

 

With April 5th being the anniversary of the Bedroom Tax, people in cities around the UK had taken to the streets to protest this unjust austerity measure.

In London, there was an ‘Axe the Tax’ rally at One Hyde Park and the Occupy General Assembly (GA) kicked off with a righteous rant from performance poet, squatter and housing justice activist Pete The Temp (see Livestream), followed by discussion about housing issues and a callout to join the Housing Weekender (April 26-27) being organised by the Radical Housing Network.

The GA also discussed May Day actions centred around payday loan firm Wonga (‘Occupy Wonga’, ‘MayDay-PlayDay’) and the possibility of a follow-up to the ‘New Putney Debates‘ organised by OL in 2012.

 

LIVESTREAM: View the Assembly on the Occupylsx Bambuser channel

The GA reached consensus that Occupy London supports non-violent campaigns and actions against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a trade agreement that undermines democracy by giving corporations the right to sue governments if regulations (for example against fracking or GM foods) restrict their profits.

Occupy London also agreed to sign the Tipping Point Declaration – an eight point statement about the causes and impacts of climate change which includes a call for radical short-term emissions cuts and the leaving of eighty per cent of proven fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

A decision was made to form a short term working group to improve how OL organises itself, and feedback was heard from Occupy working groups on economics, the environment, democracy, website development and international collaboration. It was agreed that the next Occupy London General Assembly will be held on May Day (Thursday May 1st), and that it will have a flexible agenda, with those who turn up choosing what the Assembly will focus on.

Occupy London offered a message of support and solidarity to the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT), Hands Off London Transport (HOLT), and London Underground workers, who are taking action to keep tube stations staffed and to prevent job losses.

The Assembly drew to a close with Arthur, who lived at the Occupy camp on the St Paul’s site in the autumn and winter of 2011-2012, describing a recent journey to Spain where he forged connections with activists involved in community organising and co-operative living on a scale yet to be seen in the UK.

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