Occupy London General Assembly – 18.5.12
Weather: Dry, warmish turning cooler as the night wore on!
Facilitator: Liz Beech
Minute Taker: Harj Dhillon
Present: 7 occupiers- with a few arriving as meeting went on.
Introduction: LB read out the SSP & GA’s hand signals.
a) 1 Finsbury Square finance proposal : Sanitation + Gas= £170
* Van hire + graffiti removal+ repair to flower bed walls= £175
b) Proposal for Contact details for press, outreach, process etc withdrawn as JB
(proposer) not able to attend GA.
c) RDWG (late proposal- approved by JD) request discussion on outline of Occupy
Jubilee event RDWG organising.
a) Finsbury Square Finance proposal:
Sanitation & Gas
LB: Informed GA that Lee had submitted proposal to cover sanitation & gas costs.
A further item on FS finance request was for a Van, for removal (costs) *dependant
up on FS GA reaching consensus on the FS moving on from Finsbury Square by
25.5.12. (*relates to GA consensus qualification).
LB reported that she had an hour earlier she had received confirmation from Tiffany
at FS (tasked with collating receipts from last GA), that FS carried over £191.74 from
last week’s finance funds received from Occupy London.
VL: Requested clarification on amounts.
LB: £191 carried over. This amount can meet current FS finance request & still have
£24 in hand.
PD: Requested clarification how much Information Tent had accepted in donations.
M?: Advised Info Tent not open.
A?: Advised Info Tent not open all week.
Discussion: regarding what was agreed last week- no receipts no further funding
given. Agreed that Tiffany had collated receipts correctly, but had been unable to
attend meeting & this was acceptable to all present at GA. Also discussion had
about the money left over from ~£900 awarded 3 weeks previously as tarpaulins
not purchased. HD questioned why this was not disclosed at 11.5.12 GA, when
Anon had been directly questioned. Nearly all Occupier’s present agreed that any
funds awarded to a camp or WG must be used for purposes awarded or returned to
Occupy London. It was an abuse of process & was not acceptable to ‘hang on to
funds’ and divert the money to other projects/for other purposes. JT asked if it was
possible if further unaccounted for receipts would appear. LB stated unlikely, as all
receipts had probably been recorded.
JT: As unclear how tarpaulin monies have been used & if these monies has led
to surplus from last weeks funding, proposed amendment that if FS needed extra
money next week they would be able to do so.
Consensus: FS able to carry over surplus and use £170.00 for FS camp funding this
week. Also, request extra funds if accounting had been incorrect
Discussion: LB advised that at LSX & FS it has been accepted that not every penny
can be accounted for as people shop in markets & corner shops, however a majority
of receipts were always collected at LSX. FS had not given receipts up to now.
Anon clarified how he had distributed money he had held over from previous weeks
to Charlie & Gustav, & stated that he had previous receipts with him.
*Proposal for Removal Van, removal of graffiti & repair to bedding box walls
A? & Anon: clarified that FS GA did not reach consensus on withdrawing from FS on
VL: Proposed amendment that £125 be set aside & held by Max incase emergency
removal is necessitated.
Anon: Confirmed owner of Geodome will be removing Geodome on Thursday.
MV: Confirmed legal timeline of any FS eviction- unlikely to be in next 7 days
Proposal not carried forward for consensus as facts were unclear.
b) Proposal b Withdrawn
c) Real Democracy Working Group- Occupy Jubilee
Steve Freeman & Julie Timbrell introduced the RDWG proposal.
SF: Biggest thing internationally Greek & Spanish debt & locally are the Jubilee on
3.6.12 & the Olympics. RDWG is concerned about Democracy & is using this to mobilise
and discuss democracy.
JT: Event is a teach out on Democracy, with strong speakers. Thinking of inviting Jubilee
Debt Campaign to talk about Iceland, and also looking at the idea of Crown & Monarchy.
LB: Facilitator ‘hat off’ recommended everyone watched Robert Peston BBC programme
on Greek Debt as UK most indebted country in world if Eurozone fails.
PD: People concerned not to disrupt as event named Occupy Jubilee and not be anti-
TS: Worried about use of Occupy name, as most people will view it as disrespectful &
does it have to be at St Pauls? As event called Occupy not Occupy London seems like
as method of weaving around process.
SF: Occupy at St Pauls is iconic. If Occupy not involved, RDWG can have a small event,
people can come along & make it a day of fun.
JT- Views St Pauls as symbolic, which is why it’s chosen by RDWG as a location.
RDWG sees themselves as part of Occupy. EEE recently had event at ST Pauls which
was linked to 350 degrees group. Aim is to get people back to St Pauls.
TS: SF talks about Occupy Democracy but this is Occupy Jubilee.
MV: Other obvious location would be Speakers Corner in Hyde Park.
VL: Agreed that cannot stop people from using the name Occupy, but if general view is
that it should not be used by a working group, then the working group should respect
this. Also, organisers should have back up locations for an event.
JD: EEE & 350 event was a breach of process so should not be used as an example to
further this event.
HK: In email on group spaces it stated that from St Pauls a/the march would join the
Republic event, please clarify what Republic is?
SF: Republic is an official group to Abolish the Monarchy.
LB: ‘Facilitator hat removed’ Event would be viewed more favourably if called Occupy
Democracy. Point of organisation is that millions of people are expected to line the
Thames and it will be impossible to cross Millennium Bridge or river.
PD: Millennium Bridge will be closed & most bridges will be closed. The way the
proposal reads is okay and there is no indication that it will disrupt the Jubilee.
MV: Needs a positive spin on it- Occupy Jubilee is negative whereas Occupy Democracy
is positive spin. Choose different location.
SF: Only negative word used is protest. Originally thought would march from Bank of
England to Tower Bridge then disperse to Republic event in south London. C4 will be at
Republic event so will probably come to St Pauls, so further publicity for Occupy.
HD: Initial Statement of Occupy does not refer to its aim as abolishing the monarchy, so
views aligning with an Abolish the Monarchy group as a dangerous for Occupy.
JT: Interesting questions regarding location of event, it is possible to hold at Republic
event. St Pauls was obvious location.
TS: What type of democracy will be discussed?
SF & SF: One is about corporate lobbying and other about history of struggle for
democracy. A link from the past to the future.
SF: Real Democracy is mentioned in Initial Statement and can project as Monarchy is
against Real Democracy.
Several Occupiers disagreed with SF previous statement as that was conjecture.
PD: Republican agenda loses democratic support. Discussion around democracy is
better than republic.
SF: Will go back and amend proposal based upon feedback received but unsure how it
will be received by RDWG.
JT: The proposal has already been amended based up on discussion had on group
spaces. One of objectives of event is to have discussion & debate about democracy and
monarchy in public.
JD: Only looking at superficially as discussion should be had about Crown vs. Monarchy
Discussion on Crown vs. Monarchy, raising awareness & education needed first, 1%,
entrenched & archaic institutions, entrenched in class.
JT: Will take event plan away and amend. Will re-present next week- may have GA to
educate people. Not looking to divide but looking to take forward.