The Solution to all Our Problems ;)
This an attempt to take a murky swamp of thoughts and feelings regarding Occupy London and through the use of questions, tease out a simple helpful analysis of the problems and to offer some concrete proposals to deal with them. The questions I asked myself where things like “Whats missing?”, “What needs to be done?”, “What concrete things can be put in place?”, that sort of thing.
I arrived at around six pretty serious problems that seemed to fall into two main areas.
AREA 1: Direction
– NO collective goals
– NO collective future planning
AREA 2: Organization
– NO coming together
– NO information sharing
– NO coordination between Working Groups
– NO explicit roles or accountability
I then tried to tackle these problems one at a time but found that many of the answers where the same. The things that where needed where things like “A space where the WG’s and active individuals can discuss the future and set goals”, “A space where people can exchange information”, “A space where time and care can be put into thinking about where we are and what we think needs to be done”
So my proposal?
A Monthly Organizing Meeting!
………….Oh that was kinda boring.
Well I agree on paper it does look that way. It takes thinking about things a little differently for it to make sense. It takes understanding that we don’t have a camp any longer, that some ways of thinking and working we use have become obsolete, that our needs and capacities are not the same as they were back then. Hence this is not an assembly. The Monthly Meeting in no way replaces assemblies as they have a totally different purpose and format.
This is a meeting for people who are already active and involved with Occupy London. It is not an outreach opportunity as such. One purpose of the meeting is ensure that there is a coherent group [however informal] that people could feasibly become involved in if they wished.
It is therefore for people already participating [in working groups, web pages etc] This meeting is about maintaining a strong and accountable “collective centre” and avoiding total dilution. It is also about “formalizing” “informal structures”. Many people act within Occupy London from no particular group with no particular remit but none the less have considerable influence over what happens. This is not a paranoid brain fart. Its just a simple observation. One goal of the meetings is to make as clear as possible who is doing what and where ever possible to “formalize” their activity into an accountable structure [like a Working Group, even if it is only temporary].
The meeting is also about being able to deliberate on important issues in a comfortable way. Therefore a comfortable quiet warm venue is preferable. Meetings can also take place on Mumble if that is convenient [though face to face is better].
Also unlike the assemblies that can be arranged in many different ways, I suggest that the monthly meetings have a clear and consistent format [to be improved over time].
Working Group Go Around
– What the group is doing, what they have planned, problems they are experiencing etc, this is also about other people and grups being able to ask questions
– What events are ahead, what possible actions or campaigns could we prepare for.
– What projects would people like to share?
– Note: Forward planning should cover a period of time that promotes a long range view that informs present actions. Say 3 to 6 months.
– What is on peoples minds?, ideas and thoughts, issues of concern, open topic etc.
At this point I feel its important to point out that Occupy London has a future. But that that future can be predicted by the level commitment of the people involved in it now. As we have seen the monthly meeting idea is about achieving many things but it is also about demonstrating to each other that we are, for now at least, still committed and are willing to come together and strengthen Occupy London. Every working group would die a death if it ceased to have meetings. I believe the same can be said of Occupy London as a whole.