7th General Assembly – Saturday the 22nd of October 2011
Ali (affiliated with the Socialist Alliance) proposed that we begin occupying a space immediately.
[Received broad consensus]
Toby (no affiliation) stated that it is important to occupy a space and proposed the grassy knoll of Birrarung Marr as an option.
The speaker mentioned that it would need the endorsement of the traditional owners of the land.
The speaker proposed that we would occupy the City Square without tents during the day, beginning on that afternoon.
[Received broad consensus]
Facilitation clarified that we needed to decide when to recommence occupying a space.
Sue (affiliated with the Socialist Alliance) spoke against occupying immediately.
The speaker mentioned that we need to be more organized and have broader support, highlighting that the trade union movement had only endorsed us yesterday morning and stating that we needed a bigger crowd, drawing on the unionist movement and the climate movement.
The speaker proposed occupying as of the following Saturday with a bigger contingent and deciding on a venue on that day for the purposes of advertising.
The speaker also mentioned the possibility of using a text tree list and getting telephone numbers at the facilitation group on that day.
Vashti (no affiliation) proposed that we march on that day and occupy a space, decide a venue on that day and regroup the following Saturday with a mass assembly and mass occupation.
Simon (no affiliation except with the working class) spoke against occupying immediately.
The speaker stated that we need time for organization and to harness the support of the media.
Janine (no affiliation) spoke for occupying immediately.
The speaker stated “now is the time”.
The speaker stated that the people present at the assembly and the way that the previous day’s protest had been reported recommended themselves to occupying a space immediately.
Kerry-Anne (affiliated with the Australian Sex Party but speaking independently) spoke against occupying immediately.
The speaker highlighted logistics, chiefly the lack of equipment such as tents and kitchen materials, as a reason against.
The speaker highlighted the fact that the news reported that we do not have permits to protest.
The speaker proposed that we recommence occupying on the following Saturday, with permits according the legal right for occupants to be there, in order to prevent people from being injured.
The speaker stated that we have the right to protest but that we do not have the right to occupy government-owned spaces.
The assembly voted on the proposal to occupy a space immediately.
Facilitation announced that we had not attained consensus.
Facilitation proposed inviting working groups, particularly the kitchen, to take the floor and make a comment as to whether an immediate occupation would be logistically possible but they were not able to comment.
Facilitation amended the proposal to be that we choose a location for occupation, march there immediately and then occupy it the following Saturday.
The assembly voted on the amended proposal, the vote was not unanimous.
Mitch (affiliated with Socialist Alliance, Resistance, Refugee Action Group, Climate Action…) proposed that we occupy a space before the Queen comes to Melbourne.
Katie (affiliated with the Socialist Alternative) proposed that we go around the city on a march but that, since we do not have the equipment for an occupation, we regroup.
The speaker stated that we should talk to everyone we know about this action.
The speaker stated that many people who cannot attend during the week are available on the weekend, and thus proposed marches during the week and an occupation on the following Saturday.
Joan (no affiliation) stated that where the will is there, a way will be found.
The speaker stated that we need to act while there is momentum.
With regards to the police presence, the speaker suggested that it is better to speak in the positive than in the negative.
Jeromio (no affiliation) spoke against doing anything immediately.
The speaker stated that the people who had been occupying all week were tired.
Michael (no affiliation except with freedom against tyranny) stated that the movement has momentum and the support of others around the world.
The speaker stated that we need to use Facebook and Twitter so that the next round of people can stand up and support the movement.
Facilitation asked the assembly how many people would camp at the occupation on that night.
There was a thin but consistent show of hands.
The assembly voted on the proposal that it decide a location to occupy, march as a collective there and claim the space and begin to organize to move in on the weekend.
Facilitation announced a 90% consensus.
The assembly voted again.
Facilitation announced that consensus had been attained.
Simone (no affiliation) proposed that we march to Federation Square to increase our numbers and make ourselves heard.
James (no affiliation except to Occupy Melbourne) proposed we march past City Square to show our intention to occupy it in future and then on to Birrarung Marr and occupy there immediately.
Facilitation (Jeff) stated that we should not occupy unless we had undertaken proper consultation with the aboriginal community.
Sam (no affiliation but to humanity) proposed that we march to Treasury Gardens and those who wish to can occupy it immediately.
Facilitation reminded the assembly that we are deciding what Occupy Melbourne does as a group but individual activists are free to make their own decisions.
Facilitation stated that there would be no more proposals on where to go and that it was liaising with the police to discover what would be the reaction to these locations.
Beau (no affiliation) proposed that we go back to City Square and occupy around the fence.
Facilitation reported that the police liaison had been told that Robert Doyle will give orders of eviction if we try to camp anywhere in the City of Melbourne.
The assembly voted on the preferred location to occupy.
The first round of voting showed fair support for Treasury Gardens, City Square and Birrarung Marr, while Federation Square was eliminated.
The second round showed fair support for Treasury Gardens and City Square, while Birrarung Marr was eliminated.
The third round showed no consensus.
Ali (affiliated with Socialist Alliance) spoke for occupying City Square.
The speaker stated that Occupy Melbourne should demand the resignation of the Lord Mayor and threaten to continue returning to City Square until he resigns or allows us to occupy City Square.
Michaela spoke for occupying Treasury Gardens.
The speaker stated that there are too many of us to occupy City Square and that we can pitch tents at Treasury Gardens.
The assembly voted with support tending towards Treasury Gardens.
Facilitation proposed that we could march past City Square and go to Treasury Gardens.
The assembly voted and consensus was reached.
Facilitation announced that we will address the remaining proposals in subsequent General Assemblies and that on that day we needed to act as a movement.
Facilitation stated that the details of the next General Assembly would be posted on the Occupy Melbourne Facebook page.