During a five hour Occupy Democracy assembly on October 26, occupiers debated how to change our current political, social and economic system for the benefit of the 99%. Practising consensus-based democracy with a minimum of heckling and calls to order compared with scenes inside the Houses of Parliament, the assembly agreed that people, environment and democracy must come before profit.
Mechanisms for implementing this were discussed and the following were amongst proposals that reached consensus:
Reverse privatisation of the NHS, other public services and of public spaces
Shut down tax havens
Say no to TTIP, CETA and TISA trade deals
Ban fracking and invest in renewable energy
Invest in a green social housing programme and ‘one million climate jobs’
Abolish tuition fees and adopt a universal basic income
Reform party funding and lobbying
Reform and democratise the City of London
Close the revolving door between business and politics
Break the stranglehold of vested interests on our media
Hold a citizen-led convention to form a constitution based on real democracy
During discussion about the urgent need for electoral reform, it was agreed that proportional representation would be far better than what we have, but that reform needs to go further and deeper than PR. There was agreement on the need to remove vested interests from politics and the mechanisms of this were debated at length.
Committing to self-educate about the inner workings of our broken democracy while reconvening in Parliament Square to debate solutions over the coming weeks and months, occupiers – of all ages and with a wide diversity of backgrounds – are clearly demonstrating the opposite of political apathy.
Will this snowball gather size and speed as it hurtles towards the next election? If you’d like to engage, visit Occupy Democracy.
Minutes of the Assembly, with a full list of consensus agreements reached, will be published soon.