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Occupy LSX - nine point statement

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  • marknbarrett@googlemail.com
    #OccupyLSX – Initial statement Posted on October 16, 2011 by occupylsx http://occupylsx.org/?p=221 At today’s assembly of over 500 people on the steps of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 22, 2011
      #OccupyLSX – Initial statement
      Posted on October 16, 2011 by occupylsx
      http://occupylsx.org/?p=221

      At today’s assembly of over 500 people on the steps of St Paul’s, #occupylsx collectively agreed the initial statement below. Please note, like all forms of direct democracy, the statement will always be a work in progress.

      1 The current system is unsustainable. It is undemocratic and unjust. We need alternatives; this is where we work towards them.

      2 We are of all ethnicities, backgrounds, genders, generations, sexualities dis/abilities and faiths. We stand together with occupations all over the world.

      3 We refuse to pay for the banks’ crisis.

      4 We do not accept the cuts as either necessary or inevitable. We demand an end to global tax injustice and our democracy representing corporations instead of the people.

      5 We want regulators to be genuinely independent of the industries they regulate.

      6 We support the strike on the 30th November and the student action on the 9th November, and actions to defend our health services, welfare, education and employment, and to stop wars and arms dealing.

      7 We want structural change towards authentic global equality. The world’s resources must go towards caring for people and the planet, not the military, corporate profits or the rich.

      8 We stand in solidarity with the global oppressed and we call for an end to the actions of our government and others in causing this oppression.

      9 This is what democracy looks like. Come and join us!











      The 9 point statement produced within 24 hours of the occupation starting is exceptionally good - it covers all the bases without boxing us into a corner. It can be fleshed out as time passes according to need and consensus. By the way, in case u missed it we now have a second camp on Finsbury Square, a lovely green space near Moorgate station :-) up the real democracy rev! X
      -----Original Message-----
      From: jyoti <jotybarker@...>
      Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 18:23:04
      To: democracyvillage@...<democracyvillage@...>
      Cc: marknbarrett@...<marknbarrett@...>; peopleincommon@...<peopleincommon@...>; noii-uk@...<noii-uk@...>; democracyvillage@...<democracyvillage@...>; project2012@...<project2012@...>; campaignforrealdemocracy@...<campaignforrealdemocracy@...>; diggers350@yahoogroups.com<diggers350@yahoogroups.com>; trafalgar-square-assembly@...<trafalgar-square-assembly@...>
      Subject: Re: [Dem-Village] Re: [Campaignforrealdemocracy] The Times Onslaught

      Most people seem to agree that currently the system is fucked - our
      economic and political systems can't go on as they are.

      Everybody is on a different place on the path, some haven't yet fully
      awoken to the situation; haven't yet taken the 'red pill'. We need to
      give more time, longer than a week, to find where they are in regard
      to diagnosis and solutions.

      It's ok for occupylsx to be fuzzy, no political grouping has a
      definite idea of what to do, so to expect a week old grouping to be
      more specific is crazy.
      Let's not cave on to that pressure.

      To my mind we Put need for policy coherence until later, keep it fluid.

      jyoti

      On 22 Oct 2011, at 14:37, Alison Banville <alisonbanville@...>
      wrote:

      > Bit worrying the email below from Virginia, how will there be one
      > voice if some are anti-capitalist like me and some are not? Why does
      > everyone have to agree on this? We can't squeeze everyone into one
      > box. I'm reminded of Paul Kingsnorth's book on the anti-
      > globalisation movement; 'One No, Many Yeses' doesn't that sum it up?
      > The 'voice of the camp' does not have to be one which expresses
      > unison on capitalism, and to believe it could, or should, is
      > counterproductive and narrow-minded. An 'attitude of consensus, not
      > a battle of ideas'; sounds like a dangerous shutting down of open
      > discussion in favour of shutting up to present a united, but false,
      > front to a critical media. Well sorry, if the media is too immature
      > and prejudiced to recognise the complexity and diversity of the
      > occupy movement then it's only what we've come to expect, and we
      > shouldn't pander to them for fear of looking divided.
      >
      > 'consensus' on the issue of capitalism between anti, pro or agnostic
      > is ridiculous to expect because people have strong views on it - I'm
      > stauchly anti - so where do you go from there? This is an unhelpful
      > characterisation of a healthy differing of opinion and a warped use
      > of the word consensus. Why can't we have a sign that opposes
      > capitalism one one that expresses another view? Isn't everyone
      > allowed free expression here!!!
      >
      > There is enough absolute bollocks talked in the media right now -
      > who saw Louise Mensch on HIGNFY?? And even on RT Rachel Marsden said
      > that capitalism is the answer to this crisis and that the
      > occupywallst people 'just want more stuff but they don't want to
      > work for it'. When challenged on the unemployment rate she said that
      > 'In the UK the Chamber of Commerce has stated there are jobs galore
      > but that people just aren't turning up for them'. We can be a
      > diverse movement with one voice opposing greed and injustice -
      > anything else is unrrealistic and damaging to the principles of free
      > thought and expression fo ideas.
      >
      >
      >
      > From: "marknbarrett@..." <marknbarrett@...>
      > To:
      > Cc: peopleincommon@...; noii-uk@...; democracyvillage@...
      > ; project2012@...; campaignforrealdemocracy@...
      > ; diggers350@yahoogroups.com; trafalgar-square-assembly@...
      > Sent: Saturday, 22 October 2011, 13:56
      > Subject: Re: [Campaignforrealdemocracy] The Times Onslaught
      >
      > +1 to that banner Shimri, although it's a bit wordy. but would
      > prefer or to go alongside ( the criticism part ) the answer too ie '
      > The Solution is Real Democracy!
      > From: Shimri <shimriz@...>
      > Sender: strikersassembly@...
      > Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 12:26:51 +0100
      > To: <strikersassembly@...>
      > ReplyTo: strikersassembly@...
      > Cc: <noii-uk@...>; <diggers350@yahoogroups.com>; <democracyvillage@...
      > >; <campaignforrealdemocracy@...>; <project2012@...
      > >; <peopleincommon@...>; <trafalgar-square-assembly@...
      > >
      > Subject: Re: The Times Onslaught
      >
      > sorry that meant to read - (and maybe put down that sign after
      > further discussion)
      >
      > On 22 October 2011 12:24, Shimri <shimriz@...> wrote:
      > actually there was a discussion and at least in my 10 people's group
      > we had consensus we DO NOT want to be called anti-capitalists.
      >
      > There was a vote about removing the sign, and desicion was half-half.
      >
      > Suggestion: We should come up with a new, additional sign, I
      > proposed the "our system is unsustainable, undemocratic and unjust",
      > that is the first sentence in the London statement, therfore it will
      > be very democratic act to put it up (and maybe put down that sign).
      >
      > xx
      > Shimri
      >
      >
      > On 22 October 2011 10:44, Virginia Lopez Calvo <virginialopezcalvo@...
      > > wrote:
      > Hi everybody,
      >
      > I think these articles have a point. Our Tent City claims to be anti-
      > capitalist, or so the banner at the entrance say, when this issue
      > has not been discussed democratically in the general assembly. It
      > was once in the agenda of the day, on Wednesday, but instead of a
      > dialogue where opinions from across the board can be heard and there
      > is space for debate, we only dedicated 10 minutes to the issue
      > during which, rather than exploring it and trying to come up with a
      > common message, a few of those who are not scared of public speaking
      > grabbed the mike, gave the usual ideological speech, a few cheered,
      > a few booed and the discussion was over.
      >
      > I think we should bring this (again) to the attention of the general
      > assembly and have a truly democratic assembly where space of debate
      > exist, where people can learn from each other, where there is an
      > attitude for consensus, rather than a battle of ideas, and where the
      > outcome can be said to be 'the voice of the camp'. And most
      > importantly, we wouldn't be alienating millions who, like me,
      > haven't made up their minds yet on whether they want capitalism or
      > not, and what model they want if they do. If we are about real
      > democracy we should get discussing this topic and until then convey
      > clearly to media that we are not an anti-capitalist movement (at
      > least just yet).
      >
      > Virginia.
      >
      > On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 6:25 AM, Mark Barrett <marknbarrett@...
      > > wrote:
      > See below for more info.
      >
      > Suffice to say it is galvanising a response from the Occupy LSX
      > Media team. Hopefully we can turn this into a full blown statement
      > of in tent (sic).
      >
      > Real Democracy Now!
      >
      > Love and Solidarity
      >
      > Mark
      >
      > Phillip Collins 21/10 Editorial (FYI Collins is also a Times Leader
      > writer)
      > Keep your new Jerusalem. I’ll take capitalismPhilip Collins
      >
      > The Dale Farm and St Paul’s protesters are deluded. Law and commerce
      > have made Britain a much more pleasant land
      > ‘Here ye. This is Rooster Byron, telling all you Kennet and Avon, S
      > outh Wiltshire bandits and Salisbury white wigs. Bang your gavels.
      > Issue your warrants. You can’t make the wind blow ... Take your lea
      > flets and your borstal and your beatings and your health and [naught
      > y word] safety and pack your whole poxy, sham-faced plot and get.”
      >
      > This is the dissenting defiance of the exuberant fabulist of Jez
      > Butterworth’s remarkable play, Jerusalem. Rooster Byron is a Romany
      > squatter fighting the intention of the authorities to evict him fr
      > om his mobile home in the forest. Where is the beauty, he wails, of
      > the F99 enforcement notice under the terms of the Pollution Contro
      > l and Local Government Order 1974 set against the cherubs and elves
      > of English folklore? As the new-build estate creeps closer, Byron
      > breathes fire against the paradise he is losing and asserts the rig
      > ht of every free-born Englishman to have a party on his green and p
      > leasant land.
      >
      > Jerusalem is too subtle a play to be agitprop and Byron too complex
      > a character to be a cipher for a crude philosophy. But he does
      > speak for an idyll of the common wealth in which occupation is the
      > law of the land. And he does call up a mythical past that we are
      > invited to believe has been degraded by modernity. As the police
      > stormed Dale Farm in Basildon in a violent struggle, and as
      > protesters camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral, it was impossible not
      > to hear echoes of Byron’s monologues.
      > In claiming Dale Farm, where they have lived without permission
      > since 2001, the travellers are making the very moral demand that
      > defines Rooster Byron. The land, they say, is part of the ancient
      > common wealth of the nation. It is the property of all, a gift of
      > the landscape we all share. The police force that confronts them
      > upholds the law in a way that they, along with Rooster Byron,
      > dismiss as officious and unfeeling.
      >
      > Travellers can live however they like for all I care, but the
      > judgment from the High Court was unanswerable: the desire to live
      > in caravans does not license a breach of the criminal law. It is
      > frivolous to pretend, as Byron and the travellers both do, that an
      > illegal encampment has any superior moral force.
      > It is also odd to behold a group of travellers who will do anything
      > to make sure they don’t have to travel. And when they are urinating
      > on the police from 40ft-high scaffolding (remarkably there is a si
      > milar scene in Jerusalem), it is clear that they will do anything.
      > William Blake once said that “the road of excess leads to the palac
      > e of wisdom”. As usual, he was wrong. It doesn’t. The road of
      > excess leads to excess. Both Byron’s forest and Dale Farm are police
      > d by the threat of violence rather than the law. It is not fair to
      > say that Tony Ball, the leader of Basildon Council, has been the sm
      > all-minded enemy of the common wealth. He has, in fact, been the br
      > ave and reasonable spokesman of the common law.
      >
      > Meanwhile, outside St Paul’s Cathedral, anti-capitalist protesters
      > have begun a vigil under tarpaulin to dramatise their case that the
      > avarice of investment bankers has ruined the global economy. There
      > is no need to minimise our economic problems to make a mockery of
      > this. There was — indeed is — a crisis in banking. Credit was
      > too freely available and regulation was too crude for the complexit
      > y of today’s financial products. But that’s not pithy enough to
      > make a slogan. So, instead, the banner that stands above the tent v
      > illage announces baldly that “capitalism is crisis”.
      >
      > It is notable that more than one British newspaper has solemnly
      > declared that, though the protesters may be a ragged bunch, they do
      > have a point. To which it needs to be retorted: no, they don’t. Or
      > rather, yes they do, but they’re hopelessly wrong. The notion that
      > we should look back before the time of capitalism for a gentler era
      > in which machines had not turned men into commodities — the shared
      > vision of Rooster Byron, the Dale Farm travellers and the happy ca
      > mpers of St Paul’s — is dangerous rubbish. We can’t all live,
      > like Byron does, off the proceeds of selling our rare blood. Some o
      > f us have to work.
      >
      > It needs to be said that the era of capitalist accumulation, to
      > adopt their lingo, has been the most prosperous time in the history
      > of humankind. In the 800 years before 1820, income per head across
      > the world was static and so was life expectancy. Life wasn’t much m
      > ore than a matter of choosing which noxious disease to die from. In
      > the 200 years of industrial capitalism, income per head has risen
      > by 800 per cent. Life expectancy has tripled and back- breaking wor
      > k has declined, especially for children, who now do something unhea
      > rd of in both the medieval era and Jerusalem, namely go to school.
      > It is therefore silly to suppose that something called
      > “capitalism” or some malign mechanisms known as “markets”
      > failed in 2008. There was a serious failure in one part of the bank
      > ing sector and, because the wholesale lending market ties banks tog
      > ether, an obvious risk of contagion. It was hugely serious and it’s
      > not over yet. But none of this justifies the egregious, almost inc
      > omprehensible claim from the St Paul’s protest that global commerce
      > is “our global Assad, our global Gaddafi”. To use one of
      > Blake’s better phrases, thoughts like these are “reptiles of the
      > mind”.
      >
      > The thing to remember about the new Jerusalem is that we will never
      > get there. Rooster Byron is an engaging charlatan. “Who cares about
      > asses like Blake or bores like Byron?” wrote Philip Larkin. There
      > is no idyll in the forest and the better world won’t be the stuff o
      > f great drama. The prosaic truth is that the solution to bad capita
      > lism is better capitalism. If we want to build Jerusalem in England
      > ’s green and pleasant land, we’ll need some builders and
      > they’ll need to turn a decent profit.
      > As long as he lived, Blake struggled to hold an audience. It is
      > only later generations, yearning for the comfort of a golden past,
      > who have fallen for his euphonious silliness. When we are tempted
      > to declare the natural common wealth of all men, in an age before
      > property rights, and when we find ourselves lamenting the loss of a
      > prior paradise, we are always, without exception, talking mystical
      > Blake-guff.
      >
      > Evict the travellers and ignore the protesters. Capitalism under
      > the rule of law will never take us to the garden of earthly
      > delights, but it is as close as we will ever get. “You can see, the
      > n,” said W.H. Auden in Vespers, “why, between my Eden and his New
      > Jerusalem, no treaty is negotiable.”
      >
      > Times Saturday 22/10 Leader ( my highlights )
      > The protesters camped outside St Paul’s for the last week are vague
      > about what they are for. But given what we know they are against, w
      > e could assume that in the age-old contest between God and Mammon s
      > uch avowed anti-capitalists might favour the spiritual over the mat
      > erial.
      >
      > Yet in seeking to shut down a stock exchange, these would-be
      > revolutionaries have instead shut down a cathedral. As attempts to
      > topple the global financial system go, turning a war against the
      > supposedly evil pinstripe into a conflict with the saintly cassock
      > is a pretty hopeless outcome.
      >
      > With no little presumption, the protesters have renamed the piazza
      > Tahrir Square. Drawing further spurious parallels with the Arab
      > Spring, the few hundred occupants seek to characterise themselves
      > as the true voice of the people. They are not “the people”,
      > however, but quite a small group of people, just as those who toil
      > in the Stock Exchange, or worship at St Paul’s, or come to apprecia
      > te its architectural glory, or trade from premises in the area, or
      > navigate their way through the added traffic congestion, are also g
      > roups of people. Rather larger groups of people, indeed.
      >
      > The freedom to protest is a vital part of our democracy. But so is
      > the freedom to religious assembly in the place of one’s choosing an
      > d the freedom to go unhindered about one’s daily business. The prot
      > esters should reflect on these competing freedoms, one of which the
      > y are abusing, the others curtailing.
      > Having so reflected, if they are the passionate democrats they claim
      > to be, they should leave St Paul’s in peace, and instead devote suc
      > h energy and talent as they possess towards improving the world in
      > more practical ways.
      >
      > Times Leader Oct 18
      >
      > Profits and Protest
      >
      > Critics of capitalism misjudge the causes of the financial crisis
      > and the
      > recuperative power and potential of markets
      >
      > The global economy remains in a crisis sparked by the collapse of the
      > Western banking system three years ago. A movement has arisen that
      > believes
      > it has the answers, or at least the right diagnosis. The problem, it
      > maintains, is corporate greed, the bankers and government austerity
      > programmes. This protest is wrong-headed and there is little
      > purpose in
      > being polite about it.
      >
      > Protesters gathered in more than 900 cities in America, Europe and
      > Asia this
      > weekend. Their inspiration was a protest that started in New York a
      > month
      > ago under the name Occupy Wall Street. Among the rallies was one in
      > London.
      > Several hundred demonstrators have now set up camp outside St Paul
      > ’s
      > Cathedral. It is unclear when they might leave. The ground
      > immediately
      > outside the building is owned by the cathedral, whose staff have been
      > cautiously sympathetic to the protesters while requiring that
      > worshippers
      > and tourists be able to pass freely.
      >
      > The right of assembly is integral to a free society, but on the
      > evidence of
      > recent history there is little danger of its being overlooked.
      > Protection of
      > that liberty has recently made Parliament Square a semi-permanent and
      > squalid place of protest. St Paul’s should not become another.
      >
      > There are two weaknesses in the demands of the anti-capitalist
      > protesters:
      > their analysis of what has gone wrong and their recommendation of
      > how to put
      > it right. Bankers have not helped their case with some grievously
      > insensitive public relations, but it is flatly wrong to explain the
      > financial collapse as a tale simply about avarice.
      >
      > The crisis happened, first, because monetary policy was too loose
      > for too
      > long, which fuelled a bubble in credit, and, second, because of a
      > misconceived shift to financial deregulation. Banks are not like
      > other
      > industries: they have wider obligations than to their shareholders
      > alone.
      > They have responsibilities to their depositors and to the stability
      > of the
      > financial system. They failed in both respects, not only because
      > bankers
      > themselves wanted quick ways to make lots of money, but also owing
      > to a
      > perverse system of incentives in which it made sense to take on
      > debt and
      > deplete capital reserves to boost shareholder returns.
      >
      > The errors were catastrophic. Reforms in regulation and in the
      > mandate of
      > central bankers are essential. This demonstrates not the immorality
      > of the
      > system but the inherent cyclical instability of a complex economy.
      > There is
      > always a risk of financial contagion because banks are tied to each
      > other in
      > the wholesale lending market. But great economic gains are achieved
      > through
      > a system that allocates capital to businesses that can make
      > profitable use
      > of it. Britain’s economy is closely tied to the fortunes of the fin
      > ancial
      > services sector, and it makes no sense to hamper this.
      >
      > What makes even less sense is the programme of the protesters. It
      > takes not
      > only a lack of proportion but a lack of moral seriousness to
      > maintain that
      > global commerce is “our global Assad, our global Gaddafi”. The
      > movement’s
      > supporters would do well to consider John Maynard Keynes’s maxim th
      > at it is
      > better a man should tyrannise over his bank balance than over his
      > fellow
      > citizens.
      >
      > In reality, such supranational bodies as the World Trade
      > Organisation and
      > the IMF are fallible but important means of creating a system of
      > rules that
      > limit arbitrary power and serve popular needs. The expansion of
      > trade and
      > economic integration enable poor nations to better themselves.
      > Gains in
      > productivity allow growth in wages and economic development. That
      > is how
      > scores of millions of peasants in China have been lifted out of
      > poverty in a
      > generation. The protesters think that they are standing up for the
      > little
      > guy; in fact their mish-mash of proposals makes for a muddled
      > charter of
      > stagnation in which he would suffer most. The fact is that economic
      > liberty
      > enables the little guy to stand up for himself.
      >
      >
      >
      >
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