18th General Assembly

MINUTES, Occupy Melbourne 18th General Assembly, Wednesday 16 November 2011, 6pm, City Square

 

Proposed agenda read out and agreed to by General Assembly (GA)

 

Working Group (WG) report backs

Declaration

  • Over the last few weeks, the Declaration WG have been working to produce a concise single page Declaration document
  • At Saturday’s GA, we hope to discuss this draft Declaration at some length
  • It will be posted  on OM (occupy Melbourne) website soon

Kids and Carers

  • We’re organising Saturday’s Teddy Bears picnic at Treasury Gardens
  • Flyers advertising event need to be distributed – seeking volunteers to help
  • Event will include BBQ, clown, Artscape, kids’ political books
  • Please bring banner painting materials

Logistics

  • We really need more Logistics people
  • We’re proposing the creation of an authorities liaison WG to ensure a transparent line of communication between legal team and us (Logistics?)
  • There are problems with bedding: some missing, we need bedding and tarp donations please

Kitchen

  • Please donate food. Full meals very welcome!
  • Thanks to those who’ve helped the last few days

Direct Action

  • Day to evict Robert Doyle is tomorrow, Thursday. Meeting about 12 noon with Indigenous WG to pass eviction notice at 12.30pm
  • At 10.30am, OM has endorsed to support protest outside BHP AGM at the Melbourne Convention Centre
  • Protest outside of Gunns AGM on the 25th

Media

  • We’re busy, been sending messages of solidarity to Portland and Wall St
  • Active on Twitter. OMEL new hash tag instead of #Occupymelbourne
  • We have good contacts with other occupations, especially Adelaide and Sydney
  • We have a semi-official newspaper: online digest at omdigest.org
  • There was lots of media at Treasury Gardens this morning. We managed well with an inexperienced team

First Aid

  • Busy with counseling, defusing dangerous situations, treated cuts, burns, grazes
  • Watch out for chest infections
  • There are external support services in Brunswick St Fitzroy for young people up to 21 years old, now known to First Aid team

Education

  • We’re still working on the Fact Sheet prototypes
  • Film night coming: Occupy the stars under the stars
  • We have formed the Info Desk as a public service which will help anyone “in” or “out” of the Occupation. The Education WG is here to help people understand the “Whys”.

Economic Discussion

  • Blog is now working: omeconomicdiscussion.wordpress.com
  • Meetings from 18th onwards, trying to schedule meeting dates now
  • Proposed from Education worksheet to generate a fact sheets on economic issues

Facilitation

  • We’re continuing to meet following the big meeting at Ross House to discuss process, currently better ways to deal with amendments
  • We’ve had some feedback that Facilitation WG seems like a bit of a closed group and we apologise to anyone who’s felt that. We really would like new people to come along and to have new faces up here, so please do. Next meeting Saturday, 12pm at Treasury Gardens

Discussion about what happened today and what to do next

 

10 people were invited to speak for up to 2 minutes

 

People who were arrested today:

–       Re: eviction tactics, we need to really lift our game

–       Gave up too much personal info in custody, appeared in magistrates court today, everything said was repeated there

–       Bail conditions last months – until court date

–       Really need to lift monitoring of people in custody, have a support crew outside when get released

–       Just get one phone call when in custody– so legal support really needs to answer

–       Need to think about preparation for eviction

–       Can’t be part of OM for 3 months due to bail conditions

Others:

–       Melbourne City Council and/or police will continue to be there every day to disrupt OM. Let’s keep going.

–       Why were only seven of us defending the embassy? It seems we are subject to psychological warfare and it’s working. Let’s not let it do that. Let’s joke and have fun.

–       I was holding onto Indigenous Embassy until cops ripped me off it but not arrested, perhaps because I was wearing a suit?!

–       There were 7 occupiers and about a billion cops there

–       We held it, they took it, good on us!

–       There are more people in today’s GA than there was last week

–       We took direct action within half hour

–       Lack of legal observers

–       We could have been much better organized. Should be planning early for evictions.

–       When arrived, people looked dejected so we marched to Town Hall with enough people to make noise and to show we won’t be intimidated and that we are still here.

–       Question: on the first morning we had an emergency text message tree. What has happened to that emergency text message tree? If it’s lost can we re-establish it?

Discussion in small groups

GA formed small discussion groups to discuss the question of what to do next and to bring back proposals for consideration. Report-backs:

–       Set a Day of Action. March to Treasury Gardens. Build numbers. Not re-occupy because we’ve done that, maybe multiply??

–       Take back City Square

–       Set an assembly point for after an eviction

–       Set up a jobs board

–       Non-occupiers pay respect, flexible where we occupy, scattered occupations

–       Spend more time going out to meet people, for example in suburban areas, less reacting on free speech, more clarity on messages about what we are about

Straw poll tests done for interest the in options of (1) continued occupation of Treasury Gardens (2) City Square (3) flash mobs/occupations (4) private land where we might have sympathetic owners

Proposal: That Occupy Melbourne cease overnight occupying. Little support, not passed.

Proposal: That Occupy Melbourne continue to occupy overnight. Passed.

A couple of speakers against pointed out we may be wasting efforts in physically occupying that could be used better in getting our message refined, concentrating on working groups and by occupying during the day when people would see us

Proposal: That OM move back to City Square. Not consensus, we’re losing numbers, deferred to a future GA

Proposal from Direct Action Working Group: That, after the Robert Doyle eviction, OM go down and support another group that is protesting outside the United States Consulate in support of the Wall Street Occupation that was evicted last night. Passed.

Proposal: That OM take time to workshop the proposals from this GA’s small group discussions on Saturday afternoon, 1-4pm at Treasury Gardens. Passed

 

Announcements

 

  • Community and Union Outreach meeting at Trades Hall tomorrow

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