A view from an Occupier

I am a individual occupier who does not speak for the a camp.

My name is Stefan. I am 37 years old. I am an IT consultant. I have three children and it is because of concerns for their future that I am here. I can afford the time. I am successful and have a small mortgage.
I believe that the situation in the world is very serious and that it is the result of powerful interests in Wall Street the money markets and other places manipulating our democracies in their own self interest and effectively having staged a coup. These people are criminals and we need to remove their hands from the levers of power before we can begin the the difficult task of reconstruction.
We have a rising population, dangerous environmental degradation, climate change, loss of soil fertility, peak oil, and now the collapse of our economies and financial integrity. This amounts to a perfect storm and our political elites are unable or unwilling to confront it. Meanwhile the 1% are steadily increasing their wealth and influence and driving us deeper into crisis.
The majority need to come together, as we are doing here, to discuss a a way forward that is in the interests of the many, not the few.

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The Capitalist Bloc speaks

Image for illustration, not today’s schedule

I am a individual occupier who does not speak for the a camp.

Dear Sir/Madam

I’d like to point out that the BBC’s constant labelling of the Occupy Movement as ‘anti capitalist protesters’ is inaccurate. I support the movement 100% but along with a huge amount of other supporters, I am not against capitalism , just very aware that it needs huge structural changes.

I feel that your labelling of protesters in such a way paints a picture of trouble makers rather than people from all walks of life who are trying to come up with new ways to improve the economy, environment, health care, education and democracy for all, unlike the true trouble-making corporations, banks and governments who are doing the opposite.

I’ve had huge respect for the BBC for all of my 33 years and always considered it the most balanced and trustworthy media source in the world. So it brings me great sadness that an occasion has arisen which has prompted me to send a complaint. I sincerely hope this phase is just a glitch and not a sign of things to come.

Yours sincerely

Daniel Bromley

Working Group Proposal

Tomorrow a proposal to establish Autonomous working groups will be taken to the 7pm meeting. It is anticipated that it will be uncontentious. (You never know with consensus though!)

The proposers hope that by having a clearer structure it will be easier for our supporters who are not able to stay on camp to engage. The proposal is to establish a number of working groups who will meet regularly at 7pm to plan & get on with work. The proposal is for the following groups to form:

Aims/ Big Picture /Strategy

  • A place to discuss what the occupy movement is going to achieve, and how.
  •  A good place to start for people coming for the first time.

Infrastructure

  • Oversight of construction
  • Site planning arrangement of camping space/ working space
  • Power supply
  • Tent, path & Structure maintenance

Health and Site Safety

  • First aid
  • Stewarding
  • Safe spaces policy implimentation & amends
  • Bedding, clothes, tents
  • Sanitation – recycling, portaloo, hygiene

Publicity/Outreach

  • Creation of leaflets/flyers
  • Oversight of Signage
  • Maintenance of welcome desk

Kitchen- Food and water

  • Maintenance of Kitchen
  • Oversight of kitchen rota
  • Sources food and water

Communications/Media

  • Maintenance of internet resources- email, facebook, twitter, website
  • Liaising with the media
  • Media lens – monitoring local, national, and international news with particular reference to the occupy movement

Facilitation/Process/Analysis/

  • Facilitating communication between different working groups
  • Planning and facilitating camp and general assemblies
  • Maintenance and oversight of information point

Lawful/Legal/Finance and Donations

  • Dealing with external agencies
  •  Offering lawful/legal advice to working groups
  •  Oversight of Finances and donations

The idea is that these working groups can then feedback on their work & make proposals to the Wed/ Sat general assemblies.

Weekly Structure Proposal

A proposal is being taken to the 7pm meeting tomorrow to use the following as a rough outline. This is clearly subject to change.

Monday

10 am – Camp meeting.

7pm – Concurrent Working group meetings

Tuesday

10 am – Camp meeting

8pm – 11pm Open mic night

Wednesday

10 am – Camp meeting.

7pm – General Assembly

Thursday

10 am – Camp meeting.

7pm – Concurrent Working group meetings

Friday

10 am – Camp meeting.

7pm – Concurrent Working group meetings

Saturday

1pm General Assembly

2-5pm Fun day

Sunday

Day of rest

The Process is partly the Point

 

I am a individual occupier who does not speak for the a camp.

I feel that we are an experiment, not a protest. Let me try to explain what I mean.

Whilst I do feel that there is big picture stuff, external to the camp that we can and will change, I personally feel that it is just as important for us demonstrate alternative and effective ways of doing things.

One of the things that sets us apart from many of the structures we are challenging, is our consensus decision making process. One of the important things about this is that it means everyone gets listened to. Whilst this can be a difficult and time consuming process it is also a really interesting one to be involved with.

The meeting we ran on Thursday night was a fairly mixed example this. The meeting went on for a long time, and eventually no decision was reached. So it failed as a decision making process. But, compared to some early meetings, it was still orderly and people were genuinely listening to each other and people with a wide range of views were contributing, and were heard. I am heartened by the discussions we have been having today around creating relatively autonomous working groups, who will just go and get stuff done. We are learning and developing both our skills and our processes all the time.

The big picture (of trying to make a better world) and the small picture (of all trying to get along in camp, using a consensus decision making process) seem more and more intertwined. We cannot move forward unless we do genuinely listen do all views, and throw them into the mix of looking for solutions. This is what we’re trying to do every day. And perhaps the failure of present systems is that they don’t do that, but simply marginalise views that don’t fit.

Solidarity with the Global Movement

We have been somewhat focused over the last couple of days on our local political situation. This should not detract from the fact that we are a global movement, with global aspirations. We stand together in Solidarity with:

OccupyBath 
OccupyBournemouth
OcccupyBirmingham
OccupyLondon
OccupyNottingham
OccupyManchester
OccupyEdinburgh
OccupyGlasgow

It seems we missed some occupations from this list. And there is a more complete list here http://www.occupybritain.co.uk/

Some Occupiers in the UK have been working on new models of democracy that utilise the Information and communication technologies that are now available to us. In particular they have been working on a direct democracy platform that may enable us to produce a Manifesto

In addition the Global Occupy movement is a creative and artistic endevour, as evidenced by http://occupywriters.com & http://occupydesign.org/

We are at the early stages of working at global level but there are 1769 cities listed here who have arranged meetups. http://www.occupytogether.org/  We stand in solidarity with each and every one of them. In particular our sympathies extend to our fellow occupiers who have suffered state violence at their occupations.

Authored by one of Occupy Bristol. Views expressed here may or may not be representative of the group. 

Any eviction to go to full council vote?

Earlier some individuals discussed with Barbara Janke whether she would be taking any eviction process to a full and democratic vote of the council. She felt that whilst she personally believed in democracy, it was not something that the Dean would be able to agree to.

Well we followed that up, and discussed it with the Dean. At 2.25 you will hear him say the following:

“Are you happy if the council choose to make a democratic decision?” <on any eviction process> “Yes of course I am”

http://bambuser.com/channel/occupybristol/broadcast/2081188

So it seems the ball is firmly in Barbra Jankes court. It is up to her – as leader of the council- as to whether she chooses to take an eviction decision personally, or to puts it before a full and democratic council meeting.