General Assembly 18/11/11, 6pm
0.1 The aims and motivations of the movement were explained
0.2 The Agenda was read. The agenda is as follows:
- Discussion of the Household tax
- Proposal to read a letter from the Repudiate the Debt group
- Discussion of how people are greeted when they arrive at the camp
- Working Group Reports
- Any Other Business (A.O.B.)
0.3 It was decided to amend the agenda to read the letter from Repudiate the Debt group first
1.0 Letter from Repudiate the Debt
1.1 Occupy Dame Street invited to attend a conference on Pearse St. on December 3rd. A number of other groups with similar aims have also been invited to attend the conference
1.2 The organisers, Eoin O’Neill and Eugene McCarthy would ask that if the movement wishes to send representatives that it confirm its attendance as soon as possible.
1.3 It was proposed that this be discussed at a General Assembly (GA) next week.
1.4 Consensus reached that this be discussed at a GA next week.
2.0 Household Tax
2.1 The facilitator informed the crowd of the background of the household tax, using information from a factsheet from the Irish Times. The information is as follows
1. The tax will initially be 100 euro per annum (pa).
2. Commercial properties will be exempt from paying this tax.
3. The tax will take effect from January 1st 2012.
4. Householders will have 3 months to pay the tax. If they fail to pay the tax on time, they will be subject to a fine of 10 euro per month of arrears.
5. The household tax is expected to rise to €1200 per annum in the next few years.
2.2 A member expressed the opinion that this should be opposed and that opposing this should not be a contentious issue.
2.3 A member expressed the opinion that a campaign advocating opposition is beginning.
2.4 A member expressed the opinion that tax is voluntary, no law compels an individual to pay tax and that this tax is stealing more money from “us.”
2.5 A member expressed the opinion that s/he supports not paying and that it was an excuse to introduce more taxes.
2.6 A member expressed the opinion that this was an interesting opportunity as more than 100 meetings had already taken place around the country already and that the movement should take the example from Spain and Argentina and use this as an excuse to start neighbourhood assemblies, such as have happened in those countries.
2.7 A member expressed the opinion that we should setup a bus and that the movement should start to tour around.
2.8 A member asked for clarification about what the current topic of discussion was.
2.9 A member expressed the opinion that it was an aggressive, crude flat task and that this point should be emphasised when discussing and protesting this issue.
2.10 A proposal was made that a proposal be drawn up as to what the movement thinks about the household tax and that this be prepared for a GA next week.
2.11 A member informed the GA that this had already become law on July 12th and questioned what the aim of the discussion was.
2.12 A member expressed the opinion that the aim was to support opposition of the tax.
2.13 A member reminded the GA that the tax is due to take effect in January 2012.
2.14 A member expressed the opinion about the new kitchen and its status as a temporary structure. S/he also expressed the opinion that the police may use fire regulation as a means to shutdown the camp and that the movement should look into the legal aspects of fire evacuation plans.
2.15 A member expressed the opinion that all of the food is donated and that no fire is used.
2.16 A member expressed the opinion that a plan is needed.
3.0 Discussion of how people are greeted when they come to the camp.
3.1 A member expressed the opinion that with open arms during the day and that they still speak to people at night.
3.2 A member expressed the opinion that having a newsletter would be useful.
3.3 A member informed the GA that a newsletter already exists.
3.4 A member informed the GA that there is an information point at the camp and that a newsletter is sent out every week.
4.0 The facilitator asked if anyone had any items to add to the agenda for future assemblies.
4.1 A member proposed that a direct action to create a soup line outside the Dail be discussed.
4.2 A member expressed the opinion that it was not enough to come up with ideas for direct actions, that people were needed to carry them out and that if you thought something was a good idea you should do it.
4.3 A member expressed the opinion that this was a GA and that ideas should be welcomed.
4.4 A member talked about a direct action that members were working on for a member of the camp who is blind and homeless.
4.5 A member expressed the opinion that the occupation should be widened and that we should occupy dole offices and Leinster house and that his/her parents really believed in what he was doing.
4.6 A member expressed the opinion that s/he loved John Lennon.
4.7 A member expressed the opinion that people stop messing.
4.8 A member proposed that the soup line direct action be discussed next week at a GA
4.9 A member informed the assembly that s/he had a number of proposals for expanding to around the city and suggested that the movement pool resources and set up a shop. The member stressed that the movement must expand the occupation.
5.0 Working Group Reports
5.1 A member of the food group spoke about how the kitchen was rebuilt and how it was very good. The member also requested that volunteers were needed and that the shifts for the food group were 4 hours long. The shifts are 8–12, 12-4, 4-8 and 8-12. The member informed the GA that if people want to volunteer to talk to him/her after the meeting and stressed that the movement is non hierarchical.
5.2 A member expressed the opinion that the construction group had done a very good job.
5.3 No one from the Construction group was present to make a report.
5.4 No one from the Media group was present to make a report.
5.5 A member suggested that the media group re-establish a media centre in the camp.
5.6 A member spoke about how the media group is responsible for issuing press releases and publicising events.
5.7 The facilitator spoke briefly about what the facilitation group does.
5.8 A member of the outreach group spoke about what the outreach group does, going to different areas to put up posters and said that people could email the movement if they wanted to be involved.
5.9 A member expressed the opinion that the environment group needed to do more and to achieve better recycling and water use.
6.1 It was announced that the environment group would have a meeting at 7:30 pm
6.2 It was announced that there would be a GA about education tomorrow, Saturday November 19th.
6.3 It was announced that the environment group meeting is about greening the camp and green energy.
6.4 A member expressed the opinion that the media people should “get [their] arse in gear.”
6.5 A member asked what time the assembly tomorrow would be held and was answered 6 o’clock.
7.0 Assembly closed.
Initially: €100 per annum.
Commercial properties, exempt.
From 1st January.
3 months to pay.
Expected to rise to €1,200 per annum in a few years
Facts taken from Irish Times fact sheet.
“____” – Implies speakers.
“Should be opposed, not that contentious”
“Campaign advocating non-payment is beginning”
“Tax is voluntary. No compels you to pay tax. This tax is stealing money from us”
“Support not paying. Excuse to introduce more taxes”
“Interesting opportunity. Approx 100 meetings happened already. Take example of
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Statement#OccupyDameStreet is a people’s movement, which stands in solidarity with and is inspired by over 1,400 (Occupytogether.org 15/10/11) sister occupations in the evolving global movement initiated by the people of Iceland, Greece, Spain, and the Arab Spring. We use tactics of non-violence akin to scenes of peaceful resistance in Tahrir Square and Wall Street. This is a diverse people’s initiative, unaffiliated with any political parties. We are the 99%. We stand together against political and economic corruption. We stand for equality and social justice. This is a "leaderless resistance movement" with people of many nationalities, backgrounds, genders and political persuasions.