45th General Assembly of Occupy Melbourne
Saturday 18th February
Moderator: Scott Day
Assisting: Jason Emgee
Minutes: Teigan Evans
– International Women’s Day reportback by Anthea: 2-3 weeks ago OM formally endorsed IWD, and doing some kind of event for this. WG has been meeting 1-3pm Sundays at Ross House. We’ve decided to do a rally March 10 at midday, starting at State Library, followed by a march to City Square. There will be a range of speakers there, followed by several workshops. This is an endorsed OM event; everyone is welcome; we want your support! Also, we have a Facebook group.
– Overnighters reportback by Teigan: Overnight occupation of City Square going well, albeit in a fairly ad hoc fashion. We’ve had between 25 and two (last night) people occupying overnight since last GA. Few adventures with cops and council (table, box of rotting food and some bedding seized in epic standoff on Thursday; two people booked by riot cops for playfighting on Thursday night, etc) but nothing too serious. Tips For Overnighters document drawn up based on overnighters meetings.
– Sit Trans Sit reportback from Stu: Last night we stole a wheelie bin and danced it around; various other activites. Thanks to people who’ve bought banners and food to events we’re doing. We’ve started our own economy, which is great. We need people who can draw maps, and apparently also flu powder specialists.
– Scott from Occupy Friday: I think OccFri 7 yesterday was the best ever. Hugely good vibe and positive feedback. There was a sense that everyone’s playing a role. At one point there were more non-occupiers than occupiers, which is great – we’re expanding our movement. We can’t afford to be complacent; we have to grow. We’re approaching critical mass in terms of numbers. The OFWG has discussed the possibility of splitting the event; having it also on another day. We’re putting a hat out to raise funds for a dedicated PA and some whiteboards. Whiteboards will make it clearer to the public what we’re doing and encourage inclusivity. We need more infodeskers. I know it’s hard, but it’s really essential to have dedicated infodeskers, to engage people and make them feel welcome.
– Sean Bedlam from Direct Action / Mildly Amusing Action Squad: We’re into direct action, including arrestable action. We’re organising stuff for the 9-day TPPA forum at the Convention Centre starting on 1st March. Google it; it’ll blow your mind. People are making fliers & posters to get the word out. It’s short notice, but a good number of people are committed to disrupting this forum and trying to shut it down if possible. A sign-making workshop coming up next week. I’m not going to explain TPPA because it’s too complex – but it’s pure evil. Talk to me for more information. Also, the Mildly Amusing Action Squad and the Direct Action Network are on Facebook.
– Jason “Coggo” Coggins from FACT: The affinity group model really suits FACT and how we’re working at the moment, doing various different things. But our priority is still to provide on-the-ground support to OM events. Now OccFri is getting bigger, we need first-aid certificated people to help out. If you are one, or you know anyone who is, send them our way. We’ve been supporting a range of different rallies, including the Palestine thing the other day, the forthcoming TPPA thing, etc. The next Street Medics workshop will be happening at the next Occupy Friday and we’ve got loads of other workshops planned for the future.
– No proposals
– No proposals
– Kenji: Today as part of the Guerrilla Artists Collective I’ve started, we held a chalk-bombing event. Moo bought a bunch of chalk and we went chalk-crazy, heaps of members of the public getting involved. If anyone wants to arrange things involving art and public space, feel free to do it through the Guerrilla Artists Collective. That’s ‘guerrilla’ with a ‘u’, not ‘gorrilla’ with an ‘o’.
POI from Teigan: This was great, it should be a regular event; more people should come.
POI from Jeff Pyrotek: Chalking on horizontal surfaces (footpaths etc) is not illegal; writing on vertical surfaces (walls etc) is considered graffiti under federal law. But no one cares much about chalk in any case.
POI from Nick Carson: This is public space; when making art of any kind in public, be mindful of that. There’s a reason some street art doesn’t ever get tagged over or written over, and some does. Think about what your work involves and whether people want to read what you’ve got to say; think about what you’ve got. Think about things before you do them in public space.
– Indi: Movie screening happening tonight in City Square, shortly after sunset. We haven’t decided what we’re showing yet. But something.
– Scott: The website Occupy.Com is a few weeks away from being launched. It will be a huge central hub for Occupy worldwide. Stay tuned; OM is gonna really step up to this. Let’s be proud of what we do, and show the rest of the world.