#OccupyLSX – General Assembly Minutes 8/11/2011 7pm


Occupy LSX General Assembly Minutes
7pm, Tuesday 8th November 2011

1. Summary of decisions
2. Working group announcements
3. Proposals
4. Discussion
5. Shout outs


1. Participation and endorsement in international day of action to raise awareness
of military tribunals taking place in Egypt, on 12th November 2011. APPROVED BY

2. Inviting former ‘Barons’ from the House of Lords to speak at an Occupy LSX

3. Changing the General Assembly and Working Group meeting schedule, with one
evening GA one day, then simultaneous evening WG meetings the next day, alternating


Finance WG:

We have deposited the £7,300 occupation funds into a Cooperative bank account (as
consented to at a GA). Money has been set aside to cover potential legal fees and
our exit strategy, and the rest will be used for day-to-day expenses.

Working Groups can request funds through the following channels:

– For expenses of less than £10, bring your reciept to the Finance for the money.
– For £10 – £150, drop in at the Finance WG drop-in, which takes place every day
between 2pm and 3pm in Starbucks.
– For more than £150, a proposal must be put to the General Assembly.

If you have any other finance questions, feel free to drop by in Starbucks 2-3pm
every day.

Outreach WG:

We’ve been working on a leaflet that explains to visitors to St Pauls how everything
operates, and how the decision making process takes place on site.

Wwe have a final draft copy to share before we send this leaflet to the printers,
and will be announcing the date/time of a final review meeting soon.

Recently, a member of the WG has gone to a community group in Hackney to talk about
the occupation, to help inform others of what’s taking place here.

We’re looking for more opportunities to do so, so if you have any contacts for this,
please come and talk to us.

Tent City University WG:

There will be a teach-out at 10.30am at Russell Square tomorrow, just before the big
march starts. (More details here:

We meet at 5pm every day in the TCU tent. We’re looking for more speakers, and
facilitators for our debates.

Process WG:

We’re focussing on how to improve and support the decision making process here. Lots
of ideas come to us, including:

– Making a leaflet that explains how everything works.
– Having more regular workshops that operate on consensus.
– Providing facilitation training, so more people can facilitate GA’s.

We’re hoping to display GA agendas and proposals more clearly before GAs so people
have time to think about them. We want to make sure that minutes are better

There has been a suggestion that minutes can be recorded on a dictaphone /
smartphone / laptop for each GA. If you can offer this service, please get in touch
with the process group.

Process group meets each day at 10am and 5pm, and is open to all.

International Commission WG:

Our strategic priority is establishing connections with other assemblies and
occupation movements around the world. Please contact us if you have any

Looking forward, we will also be paying more attention to internal communications
with the rest of the camp.

Our next meeting is on Friday at 2pm, in front of the Info Tent – please come along.

Lord Mayors Show WG:

We are arranging an afternoon of music and comedy to take place this Saturday, the
at the Lord Mayor’s Show. Those signed up include Josie Long, Beans on Toast, Chris
TT, Andy Zaltzman, Matt Dyson…

If you would like to get involved, please come to the working group meeting in the
Tea Tent tomorrow. Can anyone do face painting or ride a unicycle?

Clergy Liaison & Multi Faith WG:

Following on from the previous announcement, we’ve met with the pageant master of
Lord Mayors Show, after being introducedto them by the Cathedrsal.

The Corporation of London is considering allowing a form of protest into the Lord
Mayors Show itself. [WARMTH]. The Lord Mayor has contact with this space when he
passes and the Dean or Bishop blesses him and hands him a bible.

We have been discussing our own group of clergy from different faiths, to come up
and say a prayer for the poor, oppressed and those in debt, and give him a book
containing various texts related to usary, lying, theiving, murdering and stealing.

[Question] Does the Cathedral have a dossier of the photos of people they want offsite?
[Response] I am not aware of any such lists of or photos. There has been some
discussion about people from outside causing trouble, but not anyone onsite.

Sanitation WG:

Starts at 7am every morning on the Cathedral steps. We start on the steps, move on
to the Portaloos, then the rest of the camp if there are enough people.

We’ve only had 2 volunteers for the last 4 days – we need more! My telephone number
is indside the Info Tent if you would like to contact me.

Law & Reform WG:

We are looking to start a working group that addresses issues of how access to
justice, and engagement with the police, judiciary and parliament is denied to some.
The justice system is not working, and these issues are structural and endemic. We
want to look at what can be changed to make things better, and to present ideas
relating to these to the GA.

We’re looking for people to join the group, whether you have any experience, or if
you’re just passionate about these issues – please meet with us after this GA
between the Info Tent and Tent City Uni.

Livestream / Internal Media WG

We need more people to help us with the Livestream, which helps us connect people
who can’t be here in person with events like this General Assembly.

It takes several people to Livestream – one to hold the laptop and camera, one to
hold the umbrella, and another person to chat to the people watching the livestream.

We want to improve this – please come to the Livestream tent behind the Tea Tent to
offer your services – techies and umbrella-holders alike – if you can spare just a
few hours here and there, especially around GAs


1. Participation and endorsement in international day of action to raise awareness
of military tribunals taking place in Egypt, on 12th November 2011.

[Proposed by the International Outreach Solidarity WG].

Our comrades in Egypt have called for an international day of solidarity to end
military trials, in response to a worsening situation in Egypt.

We would like to call an action on Saturday 12th November to highlight the links
between UK arms dealing and the military activity in Egypt. The WG has agreed on a
statement that we submit for the GA’s approval:

“Occupy London is calling for a Tour of Shame, starting from St Pauls at 3pm on 12th
November, which will pass 3 of 7 arms dealers that accompanied David Cameron on his
trip to Egypt in February 2011, who helped them strike an arms deal with the
Egyptian military. Companies like Rolls Royce can airbrush their propaganda, but
they can’t airbrush the truth.”

This event will just be a walkaround a few arms dealers, and picketing them to raise
awareness of what’s happening in central London.

[Proposal] Can this statement be made and picket take place in the name of Occupy
[Assembly Response] CONSENSUS

2. Inviting former ‘Barons’ from the House of Lords to speak at an Occupy LSX
General Assembly.

In 1215, in reponse to King John misusing money and power, the Barons revolted.
This event lead to the drafting and signing of the Magna Carter, on which our legal
and many of our social systems are founded.

In the present day, many Barons have been removed from the House of Lords. Barons
are not just hereditary peers, they were our surity, and guarantors of rights such
as trial by jury, not having land taken without due precedent of law; guarantees of

We propose to invite some of these Barons to talk to the GA, in the hope of
reinstating their positions as guarantors of the system.

[Question] Can we have a lot more information on this please? Who are these people?
[Response] Several hundred Barons have been summarily removed from the House of
Lords by the House of Commons, in the Parliamentary reforms process of recent years.
If the public petition Barons, 25 will form a committee to look at whether basic
rights have been taken away, and will petition the monarch to have them reinstated
if appropriate. The Coroporation of London didn’t object to this change, but they
have someone in Parliament standing up for their rights, not ours. We have a well
refined constitution that is not being respected. This goes to the core issues of
parliamentary dictatorship – parliament deciding what happens for the rest of us
whether it’s lawful or not.

[Question] How many times in the last 100 years have these Barons excercised these
rights? Can you give any examples?
[Response] It should happen every time legislation goes to the House of Lords. The
Barons Act was introduced to stop Barons blocking legislation from the House of
Commons. Petitions to deal with this have been blocked too. The website ‘case for
treason’ is very informative about this and similar issues: how EU entry is
unconstiutional because we don’t have the ability to say ‘we don’t want to do xyz’
anymore. We need people to explain the deeper, wider issues from the inside.

[Proposal]Do you agree that we should invite some former Barons from the House of
Lords to talk at an Occupy LSX General Assembly?

[Block] It sounds like you want the House of Lords to go back to an old boys club. I
want a sitting member of the House of Lords to come chat, like Prescott or Adonis.
[Facilitator] Just a reminder that blocking is only to be used when a course of
action fundamentally goes against what we’re trying to achieve here – we are only
asking if we should invite these people to come and talk to us. Bearing this, and
the block in mind, do we have consensus on this proposal?

[Assembly Response] CONSENSUS

3. Changing the General Assembly and Working Group meeting schedule, with one
evening GA one day, then simultaneous evening WG meetings the next day, alternating

Some people cannot participate in General Assemblies and Working Groups. A solution
of this could be that we adopt a Madrid / New York model of 1 GA a day, and 1
session for WG meetings at the same time the next day. That’s a GA one day, then WG
meetings the following day, every alternate day.

People who are at work during the day would be able to see how WGs work, and
participate. All WG meeting could meet in one place, then break into groups. People
would be able to go around and see how each group works, and join in etc,

[Point] If all WG’s meet at the same time, people who are in 2 working groups will
not be able to attend both.
[Response] I understand some working groups meet at the same time already.

[Temperature Check] Lukewarm.

[Facilitator] I don’t feel comfortable making such a profound change with such a
small General Assembly, as this will effect everyone here dramatically. It has been
discussed around the camp that people would like times to change regarding the. We
now have GAs at 1pm and 7pm. Not everyone is happy with this. I’m not proposing
anything at present. Let’s consider what would be the perfect time, whether we’re
happy with 2 GA’s, are those the best times? At some point, we will bring this back
to the GA as a discussion to see if we can find consensus.


The student marches tomorrow are a big event. Let’s think about what’s going to
happen tomorrow.

[Assembly breaks into 4 groups that discuss topic, with representative from each
group reporting back main findings]

Group 1:

– Keep it peaceful
– Kettles are a thing for making tea

Group 2:

– Let’s make it clear we’re a peaceful occupation
– Let’s remain peaceful at all times, and not get dragged into something we don’t
want to be a part of
– Flyering and banners
– Linking up with other groups – such as the 11.30am Electricians Union rally,
starting at The Shard – to say we’re one and the same
– Let’s post a map of the route up in info tent, so people know where things are, so
they can join along way.
– Lots of people in this group need to go to work tomorrow – what can they do to
show they’re a part of it?

Group 3:

– The police have been given rights to use rubber bullets and tasers against
protesters. We could put a statement out in the morning in support of the students
demads, telling police not to be violent. The police instigated the violence last
– Please can the legal team clarify people’s rights for the march tomorrow.
– Perhaps someone from the occupation going to student rally could make a speech
about whats happening here to show students that we share their demands.
– We can invite students to come back and share what they’re working on with us.

[Proposal] Let’s make a statement from the occupation to request police are not
violent, in solidarity with students.
[Temperature Check] Pretty good.

[Question] Could we extend this so we’re asking protesters not to be violent too –
an all-encompassing plea for non-violence.

Group 4:

– There is a general feeling that although rubber bullets are authorised, it’s
unlikely the police will want to use them due to bad PR.
– The worst case scenario for the police is lots of small marches splitting off from
the main.
– The student protesters are a lot youger than the ploicepolice, and will run rings
round them.
– We should think about how to respond to protesters who come here to the camp.
– The tranquility team could prepare a reception for student protesters that do come
to the camp, to ensure that any getting highly strung will not spill their
excitement over here and give the police an excuse to clear us all off.
– The authorised protest does not pass St Pauls, but comes close.


– Livesteam to Occupy Wall Street at 9pm tonight.

– Please record and photograph tomorrows demonstration on your cameraphone, then
contact and send them to the Internal Media WG, who will upload and archive your
footage on the internet, for communal reference.

– Michael Lyons has been released from Colchester Military Prison, after serving 9
months for refusing to serve in Afghanistan. We will be meeting outside Starbucks at
10.30am on Friday to protest outside a local part of the machinery that perpetuates
this unjust system.

– I have spoken to a woman from Occupy Amsterdam who visited us earlier today. She
said she was very impressed, proud, recognises how important what ewe’re doing here
is, and sends lots of love from Amsterdam.

– The democracy movement in Iran – we are being told to forget about the financial
crisis and worry about the Iranian nuclear problem, and to support an atttack on
Iram. If there was such a big threat, Iranian democracy campaginers in Iran would be
behind it. An attack on Iran would decimate their democratic movement, and give
Western governments further excuse to crack down on liberties in the name of
opposing the threat of terrorism.

– My daughter sends word from Occupy Brighton, where there are pro-peace workshops
and other activities. If you’re heading down to Brighton, we have 30 tents so far –
please come and get involved.

– Days like tomorrow could be big and/or risky for us. It’s important that we throw
ideas around and think things through. It’s likely to be a crazy day. Lots of people
will be passing out ‘know your rights’ cards to make sure everyone is legally
protected – you can pick these up from the Info Tent.

– From the Kurdish Tent: on the 22nd October, 25 compatriots were killed by chemical
warfare in north-west Iraq / south Kurdistan.

– Please come and look at the Soca cards in the info tent – familiarise yourself
with pics of teams that operate on public order, so you know who they are, so you
can protect and familiarise yourself.

– An ideal vision of tomorrow – it will lead to most universities in country going
into occuptaion in solidarity with us – let’s spread support for that and help
students channel their rage into this, and help movement baloon into what it needs
to be.

– If you would like to help to proactively calm down flashpoints tomorrow, police or
protesters – come have a chat afterwards.

– We hope to take part in a global meditation for world peace at 11am on 11th
November on the steps of St Pauls. This is a fantastic place to meditate, its on a
ley-line. To take part, meet here before 11am on Friday so we can sit down to
meditate for 11am. I understand another meditation is organised for 6pm that day,
and if it’s by you please come and say hi.

– A man from Cardiff spent the day here yesterday, and said that this place had
exceeded all his expectations. He met interesting people, has interesting chats,
made links, enjoyed a brilliant lecture at TCU. He thinks we have a great set-up,
and sends love and solidarity. A woman also commented that this used to be a site of
natural assembly, so it’s appropraite it still is!

– Thank you all for coming.



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