Second Occupy National Conference – Occupy will win; next conference 21-23 January 2012 in Sheffield
Members of Occupy London met Occupiers from around the UK in Edinburgh at the second National Occupy Conference, 16-18 December. The event was unanimously described as “inspiring” and “a total success”. Occupy London members returned ebullient, with a spring in their step.
Occupiers from established camps in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Liverpool, London (OccupyLSX at St Paul’s Churchyard and Bank of Ideas), Newcastle, Norwich and Sheffield were in attendance.
Occupy London supporter Em Weirdigan said: “The second National Occupy Conference was about sharing resources, skills and experience to grow stronger as a movement. Camp logistics, transparency, financial responsibility, political campaigning, media strategies and social networking were all discussed. We are making a difference and Occupy will win – benefiting all in society.”
With a view to improving co-ordination between UK occupations, it was agreed that work would begin on the compilation of an Occupiers’ Handbook, the founding of a new cross-site Women’s Group and the design of a new national website.
A possible Statement of Autonomy for Occupy - to guard against co-option and increase accountability - was suggested. Representatives will take these ideas back to the General Assemblies of their camps for further debate prior to seeking consensus. Similarly, occupiers shared experience and ideas on making occupations safer and more inviting for all, and a statement on “Inclusivity, safer spaces, anti-sexism and anti-racism” was taken back to the camps for General Assemblies to consider.
The Conference reported on growing support for Occupy in the UK and beyond. Solidarity with fellow Occupiers around the world was expressed, especially those experiencing oppression. The Conference resolved to ramp up the campaign for a world that is no longer designed for the benefit of the one per cent.
The following statement was agreed by all present at the conference: “We seek a more egalitarian and fair society, an open and peaceful environment for discussion and inclusiveness for people of all backgrounds. We seek a twenty-first century Enlightenment.”
The third National Conference of UK Occupiers will be held 21-23 January 2012 at Occupy Sheffield.