Occupy Bristol statement about Remembrance Sunday

The military organise Remembrance Day events, and they have communicated with us through our police liaison officer on this issue. The military are happy that we are not in the way and they are completely happy with us staying where we are during Remembrance Day. As we expected, it takes more than a few tents to unnerve the British forces.

They have asked us to observe the minute’s silence, and respect the event. We have assured them that we will. We have never had any intention to do anything else. 

This year, as every year, on Remembrance Day itself, the main ceremony takes place at the Cenotaph. The paths near the cathedral – not College Green itself – are used to line up before the parade. College Green is used by members of the public who want to watch the parade, and that can happen as normal this year.

Many of us have lost relatives in wars and we have the utmost respect for their sacrifices. Some of us have served in the British Armed Forces, have lost colleagues and been injured. They will be joining the other members of the public, laying a wreath at the Cenotaph, after the formal ceremonies are complete.

We hope this clears up any worries or confusion.

*Photo by Dan Holton

A view from an occupier:

My name is Nima. I am 30 years old. I am a mental health support worker. I speak only for myself, I do not represent the camp.

I am here because I believe there is no alternative. The global financial system is in structural crisis. Governments are no longer responding to to the challenges we face as individuals in our communities, as a country or globally. We are in the midst of a downward spiral of a number of crises, financial, economic,
environmental, political and social.

We seek to create a real democracy where we can learn together how to respond to the challenges we are facing. Together we are creating a space through joint agreement, planning and activity. We are learning new skills, developing new abilities and rich human relationships based on trust, care equality and cooperation.

This is a movement in its infancy and we need, as it were, to learn to walk before we can run. We hope that people will realise they are not alone in their struggle to survive this recession and that here is an inclusive space for their voices to be heard. We seek to create a broad based mainstream movement.

Dry camp announcement

Our presence in College Green has brought us face-to-face with significant poverty-related social problems in the city – alcohol and drug abuse, anti-social behavior and mental ill-health. While we want to tackle and change the issues at the heart of these problems we cannot begin this if we our camp is insecure, occupiers feel threatened or those visiting the site get the wrong idea about who weare and what our aims are. We also cannot build a representative group if women feel unsafe to stay overnight at the site. This means sexist, threatening or offensive behavior must be dealt with swiftly.

We have decided as a camp that we can no longer have any drinking on site, we intend to be a ‘Dry’ site.

Those who cannot do this must leave. We will contact the police if necessary.

If you have a drug or alcohol problem, and would like to come back while you are sober, you are very welcome. We do not have the expertise to help you, but welcome your support and will welcome you at the camp whilst you remain sober.