Minutes of Meeting 13th November 2011
The First Official Meeting of the Evolution of the Occupy Groningen AlternaOccupy
In attendance: Birthe, Maria, Jess, Stephan, Brian, Julia
At Kult 13/11/2011 at 7.30pm-10pm.
The situation as it stands: Birthe reported on her experiences in talking to the Waagplein Occupiers, who have been very unfriendly and quite anti-English. The requirement seems to be that you must camp there to be part of the Occupy movement. English speakers who do not speak Dutch are only invited to attend a particular GA Thursday which are not part of the main Occupation GA on Wednesday. There was also an invitation to ‘the leader of the group’ to attend the English-speaking meeting. But no one else. No extras. This is antithetical, as we understand it, to the point of Occupy, which has refused to name leaders as a way of maintaining horizontal participation, and which has sought to be as inclusive as possible. In response to Birthe’s idea to set up an alternative occupation, the current Waagplein occupiers were very enthusiastic, but she got the sense that this was primarily because it would be separate and elsewhere.
The key question addressed in the meeting:
Recruitment is clearly important – there seem to be many people who might be interested but are not welcome to the current occupation. There is also the problem that people who are already interested in political action are already participating in other organizations.
– squatters’ hospital
– trailer parks
This should be put off until we have a slightly clearer sense of how sustainable and until we have a website which we can advertise on the flyers. Brian will create flyers to advertise this week’s meetings. He will discuss photocopying with Jess. And then distribute to the squatters’ hospital and trailer park etc. Birthe to distribute to coffee shops and university bulletin boards.
Website – approach Waagplein occupiers about accessing the website to provide a single information source – Birthe and Jess to ask
Announcement in the UK – cheaper – Maria to chase up how expensive this would be
Talked about having trestle with flyers in various locations – noorderplantsoen, outside the library, next to the Waagplein occupation. There was some uncertainty about this last one, partly because we don’t want to be antagonistic or competitive with them.
Planning meetings: Tuesday and Sunday… Yes. Kult has some problems as a location because it’s a bit noisy and people have to buy something. But alternatives are: faculty rooms, library…. These will be worth considering as we go on, although some in the group are not in favour of a university location..
Birthe to create two facebook events for this week’s meetings
Jess to create googlegroup for occupation organizing. Tell fb groups that those who are really keen can join the googlegroup.
And ask facebook group participants to help out with information tables – discuss that on Tuesday.
What about sorority groups etc? Maybe Erasmus, or something? Julia to ask about flyers at Erasmus.
Need more documents on facebook so that people have something to refer to or read. This will be discussed next Sunday when hopefully we will be overwhelmed with attendees.
These points were raised and put off to the next meeting for further discussion:
Numbers: how many people do we need to have in order to make the occupation sustainable?
Do we need to Occupy? Or are there alternative actions that we could undertake?
Where would we occupy if we did?
Is there legal knowledge that we need?
How important is an external electricity supply? Would this be do-able with a generator and gas?
How long for?
How to keep it warm? Insulation? Materials?
What would we do about cooking?
How would we ensure that there was always someone at the camp?