Meeting Minutes from General Assembly Monday November 21st 2011
Facilitators: Sharon and Dave
Intro with day 45 of Occupy Dame Street, usual reminders, hand signals etc.
3 items on the agenda:
- Brief Report on what happened with the courts this morning
- Discussion on how to move the Occupy movement forward
- Plan for the next 4 days of agendas for General Assemblies
- Report from the courts – Dave
Information was received evening of Sunday 20th Nov from a number of sources from that a court order against Occupy Dame Street may be brought on Monday 21st Nov. A call was sent out for support to attend the Four Courts at 9.30am this morning, Monday. People went but there was nothing on the formal dockets for a court injunction. Another procedure that could have been applied was an ad hoc motion brought to a judge over the course of the day, so we had observers set up in 3 of the courts all day. No court action has been initiated against us, and we are getting ourselves prepared for future actions against us.
An injunction can be called at any time, and on this occasion it may have been a mis-communication. We can turn this into a positive event, with our quick response and it presents a good place to move forward from. One positive outcome was a protest outside the offices of Dublin City Council which resulted in a meeting being planned for 2pm tomorrow (Tuesday) with representatives of the camp regarding homelessness. Positive connections have also been made in getting legal representation for Occupy Dame Street if needed.
- How do we move forward?
MEDIA: We need more media attention to raise our profile, suggestion put forward to reach out to the media ourselves – so instead of waiting for the media to contact us, we get in touch with them directly ourselves.
DIRECT ACTIONS: A challenge was issued by Cathleen O’Neill to come up with 12 direct action ideas by next Monday. We need to use this morning’s confusion over the court action to mobilise support from otherwise passive supporters of the movement – we should use examples from Zucotti park and others to do this.
OUTREACH: We need to coordinate outreach to community groups and others, including DCTU and other groups who can mobilise people quickly. An OPEN DAY is proposed for Saturday December 3rd, and a subsequent proposal is for a weekly open day event for community groups to be invited to come down to the camp EVERY SUNDAY.
Suggestion also that we need to go out and get more people down to the camp, through organisations like the Anti-Racism Network, the Kurdish and Traveller communities and others.
SOLUTIONS: A solutions group is required as it comes up constantly in questions from members of the general public.
FLIER DISTRIBUTION: Steven Bedford will take names from volunteers to take fliers ready at hand on camp, to be distributed on Grafton Street, Camden Street, at dole offices, on buses, at home etc. Steven will set up a book of names for volunteers.
Permission requested for a budget allocation of between €100 and €200 for the fliers and posters to get them printed.
MORE ON OUTREACH: Suggestion to initiate assembly ENABLERS. We need to move into communities and facilitate and resource others to hold assemblies connecting to specific issues in those communities, in small groups – to facilitate an enabling of general assemblies being held in the wider community, and not just on Dame Street. One issue that could be brought to the communities could be the reduction of the children’s allowance of €10 per week.
STUDENTS: Suggestion to have a day or week-long occupation for students of all the different colleges, where the students can practice consensus decision making processes.
Suggestion also to have college students here to use the occupy movement as a subject for assignments in college, to relate them specifically to the banking crisis, which should be tied in with the outreach program.
We have an art crew coming down from NCAD over the next few days, to facilitate an outreach to them.
Suggestion to talk to FEE (Free Education for Everyone), who are interested in getting involved.
Suggestion to send out letters to lecturers and invite them to create a committee who can gather at the college once a week, and to get them involved.
CAMP: Suggestion that we need more information on the camp for people that drop by, and we need volunteers to man the tables to make the camp more approachable.
We need a generator – suggestion that we may be getting a bicycle operated generator.
CONTINGENCY PLAN: We need to prepare a contingency plan for when the state does try to close us down – are we ready for that?
SPECTACLE OF DEFIANCE AND HOPE: Suggestion to express our support and alliance with the march being held on Saturday December 3rd, as it is totally in line with what ODS is about. The extent to which we can get involved should be an agenda item this week. The next meeting is tomorrow morning (Tuesday) at 9.30am in Liberty Hall, and more attendees are welcome. Please talk to Aubrey.
REPUDIATE THE DEBT GROUP: Suggestion to use the expertise from this group who have done great work in analysing what debt is in fact sovereign and what is not. A conference analysing this topic is being held on the morning of Saturday November 26th, and an invite is extended to participants of ODS.
LEGAL CHALLENGE: Robin W. is putting together a list of names for a specific strategy group to establish how our 4 demands can be challenged constitutionally, eg. The constitution states that the natural resources belong to Irish people, with a caveat of ministerial discretion. We want people to sign up who can help with research for this group. Please talk to Robin.
DIRECT ACTION – LETTERS: During the Vietnam war, letter were written to staff at the arms factories to let them know what the impacts of their endeavours was having on the victims of war – it had an effect. Suggestion to write letters to staff at banks in Ireland to let them know specific impacts of the behaviours of financial mismanagement.
3. The days assigned to the topics for GA this week are:
TUESDAY – Direct Actions
WEDNESDAY – 1. Outreach – especially to Students, Community Groups and Others 2. Invitation to participate in Spectacle of Defiance and Hope event. 3. Invitation from the Repudiate the Debt group 3.
THURSDAY – 2. Legal Challenges to Economic/State actions 2. Environment
FRIDAY – None as yet.
4. Any Other Business
- 25 people were murdered today and 1,500 injured on Tahrir Square, and in a show of solidarity, PROPOSAL was made to rename the Occupy Dame Street plaza from ‘Liberty Square’ to ‘Tahrir Square’ for a period of 48 hours. Consensus was reached for this decision. AGREED.
Suggestion to do something at the Egyptian embassy, maybe at 3pm on Saturday when a protest is due to take place in Egypt, and/ or a daily vigil.
- Request was made for a permanent media centre on the camp. A physical media drop station is required for any audio or video that has been created by any individual, to leave in a USB and in the format required. A commitment was made to provide this facility with a laptop for at least an hour a day. An information poster will be on camp and on the website to explain how to size the media, to upload it on youtube and tag it to DCTV. Refer to Steven Bedford and Aubrey for the drop off method.
- Representative from CLAIMING OUR FUTURE invites participants of ODS to attend a meeting this Wednesday evening from 7 – 9pm at the Carmelite community Centre on White Friar Street near Camden Street, to discuss the upcoming budget and alternative responses to our current economic situation. The plan is to compile suggestions and to send them to local representatives and the meeting will be chaired by Vincent Brown.
- A FUNDRAISER is due to be held this Saturday night, November 26th in Cassidy’s pub, with music and entertainment, to raise funds for a new generator. Details are on the ODS website.
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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.