General Assembly – 2nd June 2012


Steps Of St Paul’s – 2pm

Weather – Lovely, Sunny Day

Number Present – Around 20

Proposal 1 – Occupy London to support the Carnival of Dirt

Jack – The Corporations Working Group proposes that Occupy London lends its support and varied skills to the Carnival of Dirt. It would be greatly strengthened by having the support of as many other Occupiers as possible.

This proposal, if passed, would allow Occupy London to express desires similar but not exclusive to:

  • Occupy London Backs the Carnival of Dirt
  • Occupy London is proud to be a part of the Carnival Of Dirt

Please, please, please visit, join the event on Facebook and come to the Corporations WG meeting Thursdays at 7pm in The Barbican.


Proposal 2 – Forward plan Summer Gas

John – I Propose planning summer GAs ahead:

  • themed GAs with speakers, breakout groups, and tests for consensus on alternatives to the current system
  • publish list of areas of common concern (health, education, forests, seas, …)
  • call out for organisations which may be interested to speak about common areas of concern
  • think of locations suitable for each concern

John – Thinking about a GA on 16th for instance.

Jack – What are the relationships of this proposal to Wednesday planning meetings?

John – not sure, I would hope it would be wider than that. Folding in that meeting to a larger planning. Maybe, a chance to have meetings to plan specific GAs.

Peter C – Roving GAs a part of this?

John – of course!

Jack – we have begun this process and are currently hoping to organise a series of GAs starting on J16 focussing on areas surrounding the commons, the common and localism.


Proposal 3 – Economics WG to produce an economics educational booklet.

Peter D – The EWG has been existence for the last 7 months. Our original remit was to look at the current problems with our economic system and vast gulf of wealth. We hoped to generate alternatives. Unfortunately the problems, and solutions, are very complex. There will be a multitude of solutions. It will take some time and be very drawn out. With consensus, this also broadens and challenges the discussion. We want to speak as Occupy, we want to know what people support.

We felt an important stage was to provide an educational tool, to narrow the knowledge gap. People are intimated by the veneer of economics. Yet, the more I learn about things the simpler they seem. The book will have explanations, information, an exploration and description of some of the new ideas. There will be roughly 30 1 page, 200-300 word chapters. The hope is to make it as simple as possible. We are not expressing desires with the book, we are hoping to present current states of affairs. It will be understandable, that is key. The book will be free.

We have produced a first draft. Today, I would like to get some feedback. Perhaps we could attempt some break outs about this. Today, we are not aiming for consensus.

Obi – Is there an online available?

Peter – I can distribute.

Mel – I’m not sure of this, we have to present this surely as an unfair argument. It’s not always a 50:50 debate.

Peter – this will be in line with the initial statements

David – There will be a lot in here, it will be honest, it will be fair.

Peter – Can I read some out?

[Peter reads a chapter]

[Peter gives examples of chapter headings – Regressive tax, fractional reserve banking, executive pay, free market economics, austerity measures, Quantitative easing, robin hood tax, commodity speculation, retail vs. investment banking, tax avoidance, pollutant pays

[discussion about inclusion of further chapters.]

Peter D – If you suggest a chapter title, we’re inviting people to write them

Peter C – Alternatives to growth mentioned?

Peter D – Law, hedge funds carbon taxation? They’re all things you would want included?

Jack – Already people are wanting extensions. How would you expand to these things. Has this been thought about yet?

John – [offers to write a chapter on alternatives to commodities]

Peter – We’re looking at a print run of 10,000 copies, which seems a lot, but we don’t believe it is.

Danny – Aldgate printers would offer very favourable prices, I’d investigate

Peter – £890 is a lot of money, splitting it into smaller sums could be useful, smaller print runs.

Peter D – Smaller print runs become very expensive.

Graham – A first run would probably have mistakes and modifications required.

David – There will always be mistakes.


Objection – I would prefer a smaller run at first.

Peter D – 2000x – £285 or 4000 – £402. This kind of region?

Peter C – I would propose 3000

Mel – I still want a smaller print run. I would prefer 1000.

Peter C – I think this is a very worthy thing for the movement. It would be a very useful tool.


Proposal 4 – Generating and processing common concerns.

At the moment Occupy does various things such as highlighting concerns. We raise objections. We protest against the way things are. We try to generate alternatives. We do this to address concerns.

Working with various WGs this proposal is to begin the process of working on these concerns in common. This hopefully allow things to become less random. This is a big discussion and there has been warmth from many to have one.

Basically, we do what we’re already doing, but in a more cohesive and productive manner.

David – Very simply, what are you asking for us to do?

John- We basically have a big list. And work through them.

David – so we generate this list and publicise it.

John, sure but this isn’t to be prescriptive.

Jack – the WG assembly could be a feature of these. A place to gather and address these common concerns.?

John – The end goal would be to know what contributions can be made. Say a situation like Leyton Marsh comes up… We can highlight the concerns. We can object to the concern. We can say, actually we can go down there and protest it. Then we would declare a right, that we should protect this right. Then we begin to search alternative narratives to commit to.

There is a long list of situations that we could work on in this way. We could rewrite the world together.

It’s not an Occupy only thing. Other groups could come in on this, it could be a way to build a common practice across civil society. There could be a grid of practical concerns broadening across the world.

Peter – I would like a more visual representation.

Noirin – low in numbers, not sure if we have enough people for this. WGs should be attached to Sat GAs. We need to focus on outreach.

Steve – I agree with John’s statement about simplicity. The answer is in the simple. Community. If we condense the outside world the the affect that we get on with each other. Caring and Sharing. People may come along and try and ruin it though, but we can be aware of that. Be resilient and strong and show that we can get on. Bring out the love, the deep emotions.

Malcolm – simple is key.


To share a common approach, listing and addressing common concerns. in the hope that things become less random and more effective.



Next Saturday, we’re walking to the crown estate in Windsor. There is a piece of unused land that we feel could be fantastic for the setting up of an eco-village. All are welcome, either for the walk or to try and help us set up the village.

Saturday June 9th. Meet at Syon Lane Community Allotment at 11am. Departing for the walk at 1pm sharp. For more information please visit



Carnival of Dirt

Carnival of Dirt: London Metal Exchange and speeches at the Green


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