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General Assembly Minutes

This new page will attempt to deliver a true copy of Occupy Sydney GA minutes.When GAs are held.Or someone remembers to send the minutes.Future Minutes will be published in line. We do not guarantee to have a record of all meeting minutes

Occupy Sydney GA - 23/05/12

Shelly - facilitator
Darcy - speaker taker
Jacqi - timekeeper
Hugo - minutes


Acknowledgement to country

Student Strike
Oct 15th
Call for Occupiers
Occupy Sydney Location


Upcoming OSYD events;

- Free-school 26th May on Tents and Tented Occupation at 1.30pm at MP
- NEXT GA - WED 30th MAY 6.30pm at MP



Jacqi - introduce some new people, layna - artist - and Matt - did talk on sustainable travel. Matt's idea to do Occupy Art Gallery NSW. New director has had salary increased massively. Artists being asked to pay for their own exhibitions. It's a good time to draw attention to artist fees and how they have to be outdated

Matt - one of the good things happening - national association of visual artists - support artists. Have agreed to meet with us, talk about our campaign. I think this is a good, clear example of excessive wages. Previous director paid $250K. New director now paid close to $500K. Artists do it really tough. All the galleries around Australia pay only $1K or $2K to be exhibited. AGNSW has enough money to double director's pay, but not enough to pay artists. Average artist wage is way below the poverty line. Feel that we can involve occupy sydney, join forces with artists in Sydney. Create new attention, to new issue. AGNSW has shelter. Will have somewhere to sit. Funnel of people, 20-30K people per day passing through the gallery. Hoping we can work with Occupy Sydney. New director's first day is 22nd of June.

Jacqi - we want to meet with other artists. Go through various levels of discussion and diplomacy.

Shelly - that's about 2mins.

Darcy - you guys don't need our permission to use the term "Occupy". Would more people show up on Friday, if we agreed to have a discussion then? Noticed Marina Abernobich 

Matt - we'd like to get some really high-profile artists involved.

Shelly  - Do we want to make this an agenda item?

Matt - sorry, don't understand how your meetings work?

[Shelly explains GA process]

Hugo - Opequip update - we've got around 3 cpus refurbished and ready to distribute. 

Shelly - Worker's rights forum this weekend at Occupy Parra - Paul Keeting from MUA coming down to talk about worker's rights.  From 1-4pm at the Ampitheatre of Church St Mall. Also, free school at MP from 12pm. 

Forum 20yrs ending Mandatory Detention at Teachers Federation 23-33 Mary St, 6pm Monday.

Nikki - Students for Justice in Palestine - forum with Inbal Sinai, jewish israeli activist form Anarchists Against the Wall - awalls.org  - on Wed 30th May 6pm at Usyd Law School Lecture Theatre 024

[Shelley explains hand signals etc for new people]


Reportbacks -

Jamie - ever since I went fishing, came back. Everything is going sweet here. Have managed to sleep. Went up to the uni today, had a strike against the staff cuts. Went well. Having another strike up there on June 5th. Help students get across the point how it's damaging their classes. Been told students have to sit on the floor, overcrowded classes. Not learning. Went up to dean of arts. Few people banging on the windows trying to get answers. Police weren't involved. Couple of security officers there, as you'd expect. Went quite sweet.

Hugo - update on podcast. Big project. Getting through it, but could really use some help. Get in touch if you want to help out.

Darcy - update on Lizard's revenge. A direct action against the Uranium mine expansion at Roxby Downs. Organised a fundraiser on Friday week, June 1 at 12 chandler st Marrickville "spaceport". If you want to be part of the group, talk to me after the GA.



Matt -  said my bit last time

Jamie - Understand we want to protest something, what are we actually planning to do?

Matt - we've circulated a draft document. Want to link director's fee as a multiple of the lowest paid staff member. 

Jamie - so you guys want recognition and get paid more?

Matt - hoping if we can get AGNSW to change their fee structure, then hopefully the other galleries will follow.

Bob - who actually controls the art gallery?

Matt - they're all public servants, so they're with the government.

Jacqi - board members, some are really famous artists.

Matt - it's really the elite of sydney, all the super-rich people.

Bob - I'm asking who elected these people.

Jamie - with this march we did today, we approached the dean of the uni - so I could try to find out info about that.

Darcy - he also had a raise.

Jacqi - possibility to involve other creatives. Ie. the film industry. We are going to focus this on the 25th june.  Try to bring creative action to this. Noticed that everyone at occupy is kind of creative. Think there is great potential for overlap.

Hugo - 

Rowan - Model of consensus works best, think that if we have a better idea of what the proposal is - then we are better able to endorse it.

Jacqi - Not seeking endorsement, but we are using the occupy brand

Darcy - don't think you need any permission to use that brand.

Jacqi - more of an artist than an occupier, this is more of an overlapping thing.

Shelley - getting the sense people want to know more information about it -

Rowan - don't need a proposal. Jumping the gun a bit.

Jamie - way I see it, anyone who wants to occupy - go ahead and do it.

Darcy - we can help with food. 

Matt - hoping to talk about this at an early stage.

Darcy - have you got a contact list

Matt - would you contemplate re-camping at AGNSW?

Darcy - we need numbers, but we could setup something. We do need a permanent place in MP

Jacqi - It has been a huge issue to move a small space …

Rowan - if it is state property, you could face a greater penalty - police could have greater powers.

Jamie - since it is the AG it is crown land. So we could actually get charged for trespassing. 33A of the criminal law act, we could get charged for trespassing.

Shelley - we'd have to put in a form 1.

Elena - Where can we go, where can't we go around the AG?

Shelley - can I suggest we move on? If people want to talk further about this, that people meet after the GA?

CG1 - Can I suggest that if there is a substantial congregation of people who align themselves with the occupy type scenario, then you could pool a certain amount of your finances to establish- in india - a community of people who could be committed to your idea here at occupy. I'm talking about a facility, to facilitate what you are trying to do here. I'm talking about an international centre, in india, it's not a university, it's a centre, "occupy international", 20,000 people in Australia, only $5 per week. Checkout India. Findout what occupy means in India….



Shelley - 190 redundancies proposed. Initially 43, managed to stop 20 of those redundancies. Really pivotal campaign. Students talking about occupy. Have included things like General Assemblies. Lyle went through trouble of explaining Aboriginal law. Gave an amazing acknowledgement of country. Occupied the Senate last monday, stopped them making decisions. Sparked other protests at unis around Australia. I think occupy sydney should get involved. My proposal is that Occupy Sydney supports the Uni Cuts Campaign

Alex - supports how?

Shelley - left that open so people can support it how they like. This is what Vicki was saying with building cross-solidarity. First campaign that has involved academic and general staff since VSU. great thing about this is that it's bring groups together- students, teachers and general staff. Think it's  something we should support.

Darcy - think it's about getting a system where we put banners and support material through the collective.

Shelley - didn't want to do it without occupy sydney's ok.

Jamie - yesterday, Lyle got asked if he was allowed to do a welcoming - I'm aboriginal myself - but I wasn't allowed to cause I'm from up north. Did our hardest to go through the legal process of giving an acknowledgement of the cause. Eora tribe, and it's their land, - trying to get Aunty Ruth to do a proper welcoming where this meeting is getting held. Had to go to hell and back just to do an acknowledgement today. Lyle is a good part of occupy, for him to be allowed to give an acknowledgement - that's pretty good.

Jacqi - are you allowed to give acknowledgement here?

Jamie - we have to get permission from the Eora people.

Bob - Who are we to welcome? But that doesn't mean we can't acknowledge that we are on aboriginal  land.

Hugo - Should tie it back to the perverse incentives for executives - Spence is chasing KPIs that are quantative at a cost of quality. 

Shelley - very much ties in with human need not corporate greed for education. More occupiers who can get involved in this campaign, the better


OCT 15th

[shelley steps down as facilitator]

Shelley - had a bit of a working group about the one year anniversary. WG decided we should have a launch on June 16th to come up with ideas for Oct 15th. Suggests potential sites for the launch to organise for the anniversary. Something around affordbiltiy or education? Many different issues. Great way to regroup, refocus. Going to be one year of occupy - huge victory in itself. 

Jacqi - think we were lucky we had Elain's outdoor cinema, if we could get that going again that would be great.

Hugo - need to reform outreach. Lots of groups who share same concerns, need to reach out and invite them.

Jacqi - We should invite the socialist groups. Haven't seen them around for a while.

Shelley - think this meeting would encourage all the different groups - to organise an action. I think if we send out an invite letter it will encourage all those brilliant and energetic people to come and get involved. Think it would be really good to get an invite letter out. Good starting point.

Jamie - Today, I finally got a hold of occupy melbourne - all doing good - planning to come up here on Oct 15th. Want to come together and do something big.

Jacqi - is it because it's the RBA that they want to come here?

Jamie - yep.

Rowan - I know our socialists friends are great at organising, I like the idea of inviting all these people - don't think we need to ask these people to organise for us. If any group benefits from anything, then it's the whole group's responsibility. Shouldn't just leave it to one group.

Shelley - Socialists have always been able to help people organise campaigns. We want to see Occupy Sydney start to organise some big actions. It wouldn't be about one group dominating another group. Occupy Sydney always decides what is best for Occupy Sydney. We just want to see Occupy Sydney organising actions.

Jacqi - Great opportunity to celebrate some of the heroics that have been undertaken here over the past year.

Darcy - I think we have the autonomy to create our own slogan and move away from a single issue campaign. When you no longer categorise yourself as a single issue campaign, you tend to broaden your horizons. I sort of see a national convergence as being a weekend thing. Have to realise that we have to grow the connections here in Australia. Need to generate our own actions. Might see America not do much in the summer.

Hugo - would it be a bit presumptuous of us to invite people from Occupys around Australia to come to Sydney?

Darcy - looking at the convergence in Chicago, seems to be great info exchange.

Shelley - WG is on at 5pm on Wednesdays


Jamie - we need more people during day and of a night. Been trying my hardest to look after the place. Impossible to go on five nights straight without sleep. As greg was saying before, I had things to do during the day - poor greg got stuck here.

Shelley - need more people, also need more women. Perhaps can I get an indication from people - who would be prepared to put in half a day? Or a night time? Who wants to nominate to be on a roster.

Rowan - I'll be here as often as I can. Can't commit to a roster though.

Darcy - I reckon we do get a roster going for night hours. Only time we do have issues are friday saturday nights.

Jamie - And Thursdays.

Darcy - As long as we have a night owl roster for those nights…  Siiting on the info desk. Keep that going.

Shelley - it's been really dead quiet of a night-time. Re-established mutual respect with the homeless guys,

Darcy - the public, only issues are the ones who come at night and give us hassles.

Shelley - we had a class come the other day! Had to give a lecture about occupy to the kids.

Jamie - And the walking tours have actually made us one of their tour sites.

Darcy - When we do the re-occupation, having 100 people sleeping is going to cause issues - we need to get a roster going. Lot of people like myself, 6nights a week - just one night a week would be great.

Shelley - Think now we've won the right to occupy here, so now we should actually encourage people to stay here.

Alex - Do you need more women?

Shelley -  women and occupy!

Darcy - Occupy Datran have that system going. I people come here, then they shouldn't have to just worry about the site. 

Shelley - It's just carrying out the wishes of occupy, basically. Working things out personally, rather than always politically. I've got great hopes.

Alex - I really want to help out. God's just blessed me and I really just want to help.



Shelley - had an initial discussion, seems very clear that there are 4 different sites people want to occupy. Council worker came by the site and asked if Thu nights and Sun nights between 11.30pm and 12am - if they could come in and hose down the site. We said it wouldn't be an issue, however I said to him that it's up to the group. It's just cleaning, not cleaning us out.  Four locations; here, across by the RBA, down by channel 7 or Lanz's tented occupation.

Alex - here or there, doesn't matter. Main reason to put it on that slope bit, was just for rain. 

Jamie - on thursday we're supposed to get a shitload of rain.

Rowan - important that we let them do it. If we've got council cleaning the site, then any potential issues for eviction will be discredited.

Bob - I think that's right. Don't want to give them excuses like they gave in London. Particular location is really up to the people staying here. 

Rowan - Can I just say, during one of the evictions they were saying we were urinating and shitting on the street - which wasn't true - just want to re-enforce my point.

Darcy - think now we've got an agreement with the council, when they announce interest rates - reckon we should get over to the RBA, get in front of the cameras. We seem to have stopped the homeless from being able to sleep on the veranda of west pac. Don't want to antagonise them.

Alex -Down there outside the pub, we're in front of 24hr cctv - which the police have tried to use against us. 

Shelley - what are people's thoughts about the tented occupation?

Rowan - we can have two. The more occupations we have, the better. If there is a tented occupation, I don't think it will be here. More the merrier. More people involved. Message gets out.

Shelley - My only concern is when two occupations have formed in the same location - they've struggled in terms of keeping the main occupation. Caused lots of contention. Almost tore them apart. Support having one on university campuses. But the problem is that if there is two occupies in the same city, it can be problematic.

Alex - The occupy 2.0 in brisbane seemed to be because they had had a split. In NY they've had five or six going. If another one pops up, we support each other. With the tented occupation, if that's going to happen - we shouldn't stop this one, until we know it is going to last.

Shelley - that's a concern, having to deal with the struggle of police at some other occupation. 

Darcy - going to propose we move across to the RBA when they announce the rates.

Rowan - if the people who are occupying full-time do want to move, then they should

Shelley - we just thought at the WG we should bring it to the GA so we wouldn't piss anyone off. We envisage this space as the organising space, and wherever people want to go from there, that's fine. 

Alex - for the people who are here 24/7 - happy to leave that up to them. I'm not here 24/7, probably won't be until after exams.

Rowan - if it's in the immediate area, then I don't see it as such a big deal. Have issues with people who don't stay overnight making decisions for those who do.

Jamie - if we stay here, we're out of the mist, out of the wind, out of everyone's way.

Rowan - can I propose that if it's in the immediate area, leave it up to the people occupying to decide where to go



Location of Occupy between steps and Macquarie St to be determined by occupiers on site (the occupiers' site working group), bigger move of site to be determined by GA - PASSED

Occupy Sydney supports a major action on the Saturday October 13th for One Year Anniversary - PASSED

Occupy Sydney supports a public launch meeting for Oct 15th action on June 16th, at Martin Place (Meet for Lunch at 1pm) Meeting at 3pm - PASSED

Occupy Sydney encourages people to support the Course Cuts Campaign for USYD - PASSED


No GA Monday 23 April

GA Minutes Saturday 21 April 

  2. #OCCUPYSYDNEYZINE ISSUE ONE; Ebook -http://mir.cr/0BLO7DVE Color Pdf - http://mir.cr/1JGLQJ6F B/W pdf
  3. Shelly - Facilitation
  4. Hugo - Minutes
  5. #notes on minutes; May contain errors and mistranslation. Also includes paraphrasing.
  6. Acknowledgement of Country
  7. Annoucements/Reportbacks
  8. Agenda Items:
  11. ---
  12. Reportbacks
  13. Shelly - Occupy Parramatta. Going really well. Reaching out. Perspective we have in Occupy Parramatta is we are very open very inclusive. We don't have debates over political propaganda. Free-school seems to be the thing that is working in Parra. Next free-school is on 26th May. Between free-school we've been organising solidarity support actions. Broad range of people. About 200 on the email list. We have a Facebook group. Also have a twitter account. Looking at getting a bank account. We managed to raise enough funds to buy our own table. Planning to do a banner drop for global day of action. Location to be revealed on the day.
  14. Mush - What will the banner say?
  15. Shelly - Occupy together for the millions not the millionaires.
  16. Rohan - are you still meeting every saturday?
  17. Shelly - We're meeting every saturday. Have a regular stall. And so we have free-school about once a month. Usually the third or fourth saturday of the month. Once every two months we have an action; whether that be a forum or a candle light vigil. So now we are at a stage where we are talking about what kind of campaigns and direct actions we can get involved in. Have been doing a lot of outreach to build our base. Working towards a 24/7 occupation but we are not at that stage yet.  Have had no real issues with the cops. We need organisers. We need speakers for free-school. We've got people like Bradley and Jacob and Myself. Also Rupan and Marc. The great thing about being in Western Sydney is people who haven't been able to make it to Martin Pl have been turning up to Parra. We've been incorporated into the markets. Support has been incredible. Our biggest struggle at the moment is with getting organisers and getting speakers.  You won't have to deal with the cops out at parramatta.
  18. Call out for Speakers for events at Occupy Parramatta and also for organisers.
  19. ---
  21. Shelly - A regular annual event organised around the world highlighting the plight of refugees escaping persecution and seeking asylum in western countries like australia. Last year we had 2000 people or so demonstrating for the event. Open organising meeting happening on Monday 6pm 23-33 Mary St in Surry Hills at the Teachers' Federation. Callout for people to help build the demonstration. Asking groups to send delegates. Lanz suggested Mark or Paul to represent from Occupy. I'd like to find out what Occupy can do to help organise for World Refugee Day. Four key demands; end mandatory detention, free refugees, end offshore protesting. Fourth demand, which is being debated, is to decriminalise people smuggling. Occupy Parramatta has endorsed the event.
  22. Rohan - the money being made on the processing of refugees could be a focus for occupy, as our focus has been more on the economic system.
  23. Shelly - Question on the date; some states have said 23rd/24th June, others the week before. The refugee issue is very much an economic issue. They are detaining people because it is a way to make money. Serco for instance are making heaps of money detaining people.
  24. Rohan - can't make the organising meeting on Monday.
  25. Mush - pretty low on numbers at the moment. I've got a spot on QANDA on monday.
  26. Shelly -  might be good to repost on the list, and to remind people that we've endorsed world refugee day.
  27. Hugo - We should make the links with the fact that people are often fleeing from situations that have been created by foreign powers with the explicit aim of pillaging resources.
  28. Shelly - that's right, the main reason people are fleeing is because of militaristic imperialism. People are fleeing because of the economic system behind this imperialism.
  29. Rohan - realistically, don't think people will make it to monday's organising meeting.
  30. Shelly - this is the first one. There will be more meetings leading up to the event. I'm going to propose we meet once a fortnight.
  31. Mush - We should have a presence outside the detention facilities to show solidarity with the refugees.
  32. Rohan - If we have a statement to endorse, we should do that. As for the organising meetings, we can only really let people know when they are happening.
  33. Paul - I can give you an example of that; in Sri-Lanka and the slaughter of three thousand on that island. That created a massive refugee situation. And they weren't even assisted, even by the United Nations. They were herded into that facility and slaughtered. Within the DNA of the Tamils, you'll find that there are a lot of similarities to the Aboriginal people here in australia. What they did was take black people over to Sri Lanka to breed them into the lower class caste. That's only one instance.
  34. Mush - that makes sense to me. At the time the British had a belief rooted in social darwinism, that the aboriginal people descended from the same malay stock.
  35. Rohan - more than happy with statement as is. Don't want to add to much to it.
  36. Mush - I don't think it has to go on for too long.
  37. [some discussion around drafting a statement]
  38. ---
  40. Shelly - 27,28,29th April is the climate action summit in Parramatta. Friday night and saturday and sunday. Happening at UWS parramatta campus. Wenny is giving a workshop on the occupy movement. I think it would be a good chance, give the fact that you've got an example like CSG, I think it would be great for Occupy Sydney to come along. Occupy Parramatta has endorsed it. They've paid for a stall. If you want to be a part of it, you can register online or just turn up on the day. I think it would be great if Occupy Sydney could bring some banners and Occupy UWS
  41. Rohan - does Parramatta have an Occupy Parramatta banner? Don't want to steal thunder.
  42. Shelly - we made the decision to just go as 'Occupy'. Anybody from all the different branches is welcome to join the stall and participate as part of Occupy.
  43. Rohan - think it would be very good to get the Occupy Parramatta brand out there.
  44. Shelly - it's all under the one umbrella as occupy.
  45. Mush - at least something to represent that there's something happening at parramatta.
  46. Shelly - it's roughly about $10-15 per day. Around $50 to attend the whole conference. There will be live bands etc. Dinner is included.
  47. Rohan - did you want another endorsement or are you just wanting to flag it?
  48. Shelly - I think it would be great if Occupy Sydney could work on a statement. If you guys want to come up with a solidarity greeting that would be great.
  49. Rohan - might not do it tonight, but we have it in the minutes so people can be aware of what's going on.
  50. Mush - so Wenny's running a stall on all three days?
  51. Shelly - Jacob and Brad will be taking turns to man the stall. Would be great if someone could relieve them. If people want to come together and come up with a solidarity statement. Maybe could do a mike check at the summit?
  52. Hugo - We should also let people know about the free-school session after the city talk.
  53. Shelly - maybe distribute flyer for free school after city talk at the Climate Summit.
  54. Hugo -  we should try to join the dots. Even the climate issues are directly tied together with refugee issues.
  55. Shelly - lock the gate alliance came up with a sign, where if they suspect that bulldozers are going to come and dig on their site, the sign says they are only allowed to enter on invite. Will prosecute under criminal law act.
  56. ---
  58. PASSED- Statement to endorse World Refugee Day;
  59. Occupy Sydney endorses World Refugee Day and the rally that will occur in June. Occupy Sydney condemns those who profit from the suffering of people fleeing from persecution. We also acknowledge that many who flee from their homelands to seek asylum are forced to do so because of Economic Imperialism and Foreign Multinationals pillaging their resources.

    GA minutes Monday April 16th 2012


    Jacob – Facilitation
    Darcy – Time Keeper
    Hugo – Minutes

    #notes on minutes; May contain errors and mistranslation. Also includes paraphrasing.

    Acknowledgement of Country
    Agenda Items:

    Jacob- City talk, WG voted to put Marc Ahrens forward as speaker and, if we are afforded two spots, Lil as second speaker . Also decided to extend the talk with our own forum after the event – in the form of free-school talks.
    Bern – couple of report backs; occupy friday occupy the courts. I was a tent monster. Walked from here down to downing st. Found it effective. Walking around in a tent caught people’s attention, raised awareness.
    Occupy Sydney zine; gmail and google group open. Wednesday for [email protected] Google group; occupy sydney zine. Meeting on Wednesday at 5pm at Martin Place.

    Marc – report back on psychohegemony working group. I’m the only poster. Post infrequent and long emails. About to post response to an episode of the health report on Radio National. Norman Swan presents it, said some rather innacuraite things. I’ve written a 15pg response. Thinking of sending it to him. Biggest error was that he mischaracterised the argument against SSRIs. Took data that drugs work better than placebo. But in fact the skeptics have never said that. Went through papers, found that many of the Venroflaxine trails are biased funded by industry. I will post my response tonight to the Occupy Sydney Psychohegemony google group.

    Jacob – Next working group on City Talk on Poverty and Plenty Forum will be on  Monday 23rd at 5.30pm at Martin Place.

    Kat – kitchen wg report back. Had a discussion last night. Pretty much just a start. Flooding of ideas. Went around the circle talking about food, where we get food from, food supply, ethics etc. Have a bunch of notes. Will be starting a google group to write up points and continue the discussion.
    Bern- I’m always buying food here and there and it would be good to know what keeps.
    Darcy – at the moment we are going to scout dumpster dives from organic shops.
    Kat – heaps of ideas from melbourne. Trying to bring some of those ideas here. Everything will be labelled, so people will be able to pick and choose. Some might not want to eat dumpster dived food. Others might only want to eat dumpster dived food.

    Hugo – OpEquip callout came from Oakland and is also underway in Australasia, and here in sydney. Idea is to refurbish old computers, load open-source software and distribute to those who need them.  Would like to hear people’s suggestions, ideas, thoughts?
    Bern – maybe we also need to help people with training
    Marc – we could teach programming? There are a few organisations that do that sort of thing. Trying to think of their names. Reminded of the one laptop per child program. Wonder if it’s possible to get access to those computers.
    Bern – would it be possible to have computers setup at a free school to teach people how they can use their computers? Teach people how to do street computing – use wireless networks. Where people can go to access internet and access power to recharge.
    Darcy – library of NSW has wifi.
    Bern – how do you go about using a laptop out and about.
    Hugo – does anyone want to volunteer to refurbish computers?
    Marc – I can do that.


    Darcy – for may 1st I might launch an occupy cinecast. Lot of friends sympathise with the movement, film critics.
    [meeting interrupted as J9 takes broom from site and causes confrontation]
    Hugo – more of an update, but looking for help with Podcast. Recorded material for Resource Exploitation podcast. Also recorded several hours for Homelessness and Housing Unaffordability episodes. Transcriptions would really help. Otherwise it’s all coming along at a slow, steady pace.
    Kat – Occupy Melbourne media crew are working on a podcast. Humorous take on the news.
    Rain – working on a 1950′s style gangster film with Mayor Doyle as Don Doyle. Filmed a few videos.  Have to engage people with humour. Can’t be serious all the time
    Darcy – Radio Occupy in London. Last ep in February. 5 ep in total. Occupy the Airwaves. Citizen Radio has been constant. Puts 20min each episode aside for the Occupy movement.

    Bob – include call for fair and just treaty in acknowledgement of country. Treaty with first people of this nation.
    Jacob – Bob’s point was that we should call for a treaty to acknowledge the sovereignty of the first people of this land. As an attempt to have a fair and just resolution to the occupation of Australia. Has been brought up before as a proposal. Indigenous occupiers opposed it. Any treaty would be between Government and Professional Aboriginals. Also a bit patronising to suppose there is one homogenous group of Aboriginal people. I propose we put this off to another meeting where Bob can speak to it.
    Darcy – good to hear from Lyle on this subject, being an
    Jacob – A treaty might just be a matter of assuaging white guilt without any proper recitation.
    Marc – If a treaty doesn’t produce anything meaningful, then it is just an acknowledgement.
    Jacob – I’d support a requirement for the first nations to get Six Senators, just as the States do.
    Marc – seems to be a push on to form a treaty. Maybe more informed position will come out of a new ATSIC like body.
    Bern – my understanding from Australia day, when I watched the 40th anniversary of the tent embassy, seemed that the representation was to go back to their native land to create some sort of document on their own. While I like the idea to continually apologise, but I’d rather be behind supporting a self-determined sort of treaty.
    Darcy – also help clarify what occupy around Australia stand for. If Sydney could make a stand, we could have other occupy sites follow. All comes back to capitalism and slavery. Some people have left, or have been indifferent to occupy, because of our inability to speak on indigenous issues.

    Hugo – In 2009 Gaddafi addressed the UN telling the west that they owed Africa $7.7trillion in compensation. He was dismissed as a lunatic. But $7.7 trillion is probably a low estimate. Lyle reminded me this the other day, talking about a movement to claim back-pay for the rent owed to the original owners of the land. We aren’t talking in abstract terms. This is a concrete fact. Land was stolen and if we are going to have justice then a price has to be paid. Back payment for rent. With interest. Thing that really pisses me off is those people who criticise this analysis as blac-arm-band. This is not black-arm-band. We are still on land that was stolen. That’s just a simple fact. And if you put it in market terms, there is a very real debt owed.
    Jacob – also important to acknowledge that the theft is ongoing. Number of aboriginal groups engaging in enterprise, where they have been successful, land has been stolen. Eg. pilbarra. We are not talking about historical events, but events happening today.

    Mushy – nepalese lady and her husband have a restaurant on King St. She was really upset. Basically dominos pizza moved in next door. Made noise and mess as they were moving in. Used sabotage tactics to scare customers away. Has caused her restaurant to close down. A shout out for her, to see what we could do about it. There is a newspaper article about it. I should bring it in. She knew of occupy, wanted to ask us for help.
    Jacob – I know of several businesses that have had a bit of success by opening Facebook groups and calling on support from local community when they have been targeted by large corporates. Duck into the library and create the group on Facebook. Could see the beginning of a campaign. Could evolve.
    Hugo – have a bit of a different perspective. Rents on King st are huge. Even really successful businesses have hard time covering costs and paying proper wages. The landowners have a sweet deal in all this. Businesses come and go on King St. Common story. Perhaps we should call on a rent strike for all local businesses on King St?
    Darcy – Cinq has also closed down on King St.
    Jacob – even brief rent-strikes can be effective.
    Hugo – rent-strike could have end goal of reducing rent across the board, say by 30%.
    Marc – that could be the start of something very interesting…

    PASSED – Freeschool session at 8pm to extend the Sydney City Talk on 30 April (regardless of if there is an occupy sydney speaker at the City Talk)

    PASSED – Put forward Marc Ahrens as our first speaker, and Lily as our second speaker for the City Talk on Poverty and Plenty.

    PASSED – City Talk on Poverty Working Group on Monday 23rd at 5pm at Martin Place

GA Minutes Saturday 14 April

  3. GA Minutes Saturday 14/04/12
  4. Ruby - Facilitation
  5. Jacob - Speaker Taker
  6. Hugo - Minutes
  7. #notes on minutes; May contain errors and mistranslation. Also includes paraphrasing.
  8. Notable attendees:
  9. Cr Irene Doutney
  10. Announcements/ Reportbacks
  11. Agenda Items:
  17. ---
  18. Names/ Introductions
  19. ---
  20. Announcements:
  21. Nikki - Worker's Conference at Jura Books April 28 & 29; 440 Parramatta Rd, Petersham 2040
  22. Persopolis film screening next Friday evening at Occupy Sydney
  23. Jaqi - sustainable movie night screening; We need to work out how to help Elain with logistics… Also needs some lithium batteries.
  24. Mushy - There are always things happening at Occupy Sydney.
  25. Maloe - Zine; organising through google group? Aiming for submissions by next Wednesday. . Contact: [email protected]
  26. Rosie - Free-school discussion group on 28/29 April
  27. Bob - We've been here 6months, we're now not so much subject to fines/arrests but more so harassment and intimidation. Police dropping charges show that they are harassing us for political purposes.  Arrests have been shown in court to be illegal arrests. Purpose of arrest has been to impose punitive bail conditions as a means of police curfew. Situation in Melbourne is different. Melbourne City council have been directing police to enforce bylaws. Q. for Irene - whether council has been working with police to stop Occupy?
  28. M1 -  Solidarity demo for Pussy Riot tomorrow. Ask for details
  29. Ruby - Anarchy and Occupy at Jura Books, 440 Parramatta Rd, Petersham. 3pm on Sunday 22nd April.  Wenny is speaking.
  30. ---
  31. Agenda:
  33. Irene Doutney - Trying to give voice to occupy sydney principles and ideals. Syd city council have organised talk for 30 April. Noticed that no occupy sydney participants were listed as speakers. Come down to try and get speaker from occupy to talk on the night.
  34. Nikki -  I think it's a good idea to have representative from occupy sydney. We can say yes, but will decide a bit later on who will go to talk.
  35. Irene - need a name by early next week
  36. Mush - Was going to nominate Lil, but she probably won't want to take it.
  37. Kat - Should have two speakers. Less pressure on one person. Make it easier.
  38. Scott - Lil would be great, but we can't speak for her in her absence.
  39. Irene - will negotiate the bureaucracy of it.
  40. Darcy - 4people on the panel. 3 men and woman. I propose we send a man and a woman. They should go in sustainable clothing.
  41. Jacob - Propose working group to settle on speaker for monday to choose nominee.
  42. Irene - City Talk is a public forum, very formal, very controlled, huge audience. I can also take a guest, who can ask a question or make a statement. Tickets are free. Monday 30th April
  43. Scott -  lot of talk about occupy having two speakers. Will the other groups get two?
  44. Irene - They're all academics etc. Definitely one speaker. Will try to get two.
  45. M1 - If council won't take speaker, occupy should protest.
  46. Jacob - I was going to suggest we mic check if we can't get a speaker.
  47. Jacob - tell all your friends to get tickets. Stack the audience.
  48. Jacob - WG 5.30pm on Monday about this.
  49. -----
  51. Nikki - some people are very upset at the culture of occupy sydney regarding multiculturalism. Occupy Sydney is very very white. Not multi-cultural. Have experienced discrimination in other progressive groups. Speaking on behalf of other people who are upset at this matter. On friday morning, asked some friends from different nationalities to come. They said no. When we come we are totally ignored. The only one who came was Arkan. Not a single person from Occupy Sydney said hello to Arkan. Even though he has been here many times. He has been very disappointed by the unfriendly behaviour of occupy sydney. Sometimes ignorance is more painful than being stabbed with a knife. I have experienced this many times in occupy sydney. I have been here since before 15th October. Not a single time has anyone come to me to say hello. Then later on after a few times when I talk to people they come and say hello how are you. This is pure white culture. The people do not communicate with each other. They only communicate if they know each other. They normally keep distance. Unless, they speak with Australian accent. This has happened many nights for me. I was not sure if I would come back. Tried to repair movement when problems. I have been the only one to talk to the people and tell them to be friendly to each other. But if I have this problem, not a single person goes to do this work. I think we should build solidarity, wherever problem comes. We should not make the problem worse. We should talk to each other. We should build a bridge. Arkan is just one example. But many of these things have happened to others who are shy. Even Arkan did not want to come today to talk about this problem.
  52. Kat - We need to realise the issue is much bigger than the personal conflicts.
  53. Mushy - I've experienced two different cultures, when many different cultures are living together - it's not white culture that we're against - all culture is under attack from greed. Pure and simple. Crapola. Both on the white side and black side of me I can see culture being destroyed by crass-consumerism. Respect for everyone and community.
  54. Jacob - I was there on Friday, and if you didn't feel welcome - I'm sorry.
  55. Arkan - We are all in this together. It is very serious what is happening in the middle east. A very big problem. I'm a socialist; against capitalism and against fascism. 1million people live in sydney, how many people join us? This is not a multi-cultural problem. We all have the same problem.
  56. Pathi - Lara in today's parenting workshop talked about how we can make people feel welcome.  Maybe we can brainstorm how to make people feel welcome.
  57. Scott - Welcome Arkan. I'm sorry what happened on Friday. I personally didn't recognise you. I don't think it had anything to do with rascism. Sometimes people are just buggered and don't have the energy to be welcoming.
  58. Ruby -  I think Arkan's experience is not the first time someone has expressed that about occupy sydney. It is rascism. Rascism exists on the basis of difference and not being able to bridge that difference. I propose we issue a formal apology to Arkan. Again, there is a lack of a grievance procedure at occupy sydney. We need our own restorative justice model. I have experienced bullying in activist groups. In October we had many more people. Why did they leave? Because they had a problem.
  59. Jaqi - I considered occupy sydney to be very multicultural. In the beginning I did not know people. Persisted with it. Made contacts. A lot of people have been building bridges.
  60. Marc - Everyone at occupy sydney in their most mindful state would welcome people most whole-heartedly.  Everyone here feels to be at the margin of society in some way. Makes it difficult to be open, as people who are marginalised are nervous about themselves. I've always felt Nikki to be a maternal figure for occupy sydney. Always make people feel welcome.
  61. M1 - We do live in a white culture, so even within occupy those power relationships are playing out. It's not a level playing field.
  62. P2 - I don't have many friends locally, so when I first came down I took the initiative to meet people and get to know them. I have a very hard time understanding accents. I think the bigger issue is grievances. How to reach out to people who are feeling marginalised.
  63. Liam - I think this discussion touches on the failure of outreach. Outreach working group has disbanded. Re-iterate scott's pt. People are sometimes tired. Not as welcoming as they could be.'
  64. Kat - What we do in Melbourne that works - group in melbourne is larger. When conflicts arise, they become massive. Whole group fails to move forward. Little issues blow up and stop us from looking at the bigger picture. We have a person mediate with two people who are having conflict.  
  65. Darcy - economics of bigotry.  We are occupying land in martin place. Now we commoditise it. The bigotry comes from indifference and it's caused by money. I think the majority of us have broken through that barrier. But sometimes we lapse back into it.
  66. Jaqi - Darcy was here in december. When he came back I didn't recognise him.
  67. Nicole - when occupy started, I spent the whole first day alone. Didn't speak to anyone. Was shy. Would have been shaking the first time I did public speaking. Now I'm here. I would encourage new people to introduce themselves to occupy sydney. Would be awesome to organise more T-shirts and badges. Want to be able to recognise each other. Also publicity opportunity. Invites people to talk to us. We've had so much pressure and it can get exhausting.
  68. ---
  70. Ruby - conference was the result of a free-school session back in December 2011. Basically about direct action methods for workplace organising. Inspired by swapping stories about work, unions, etc. Workplace struggles conference has taken that idea and made it bigger. Direct action techniques. History of Unionism. How to organise in a workplace. What are your rights.  Conference is on 28th and 29th of April at Jura Books. Still looking for people to run workshops - esp. feminism and women's workshop.
  71. Jaqi - Interested in hosting a workshop for the conference.
  72. R1 - also have an organiser from Melbourne coming down. Might not have a band but there will be a social event.
  73. Kat - re: feminism issues - have found in the past that these sorts of groups can simply create a space to vent. Works better for people to put forward ideas.
  74. Rosie - community workers equal pay campaign comes to mind for women's group.
  75. Hugo - negotiating contracts for freelance and contract workers.
  76. Jaqi - we've raised enough money for a new battery for the sustainable cinema!
  77. ----
  79. Mush - can we get the kitchen going again? Not maintaining diet.
  80. Pathi - issues; sourcing food, location to prepare food.
  81. Darcy - more pressing issue is sourcing food. As for logistics of kitchen - it's coming. Build it and they will come.
  82. Scott - re; food issue - good to get people to cook up food and bring down to occupy.
  83. Panda - re: food - most of it goes off quickly and need to be thrown out.
  84. Kat - propose Kitchen working group
  85. Marc - I think I got sick from eating food from occupy in the first week. Food hygiene is important.
  86. Mush - I propose we boycott dominos Newtown cause they've put Catherine-Du out of business
  87. ----
  88. Darcy - we've seen the numbers and enthusiasm grow, just in the past couple of days. At 2pm tomorrow I will be doing some poetry reading at Pitt St Mall, old-school soap-boxing.  I propose some direct action for tomorrow.
  89. ---
  91. Amber - K3's drinking is causing problems. Propose K3 does not drink on site.
  92. Ruby - this is a big problem, I've seen people drinking on site. The reason we had a no drug/alchohol policy was to keep people safe on the site.
  93. Marc - numerous people have been drinking. Very important to keep a drug and alcohol free zone. Also that people don't just duck around the corner and come back.
  94. Paul - I haven't had a drink in 10yrs. When people drink to a level of being incomprehensible, then you've got a problem. K3 has supported everything at occupy sydney. Even keep people safe, regardless of being sober or drunk.
  95. Scott - definitely we should maintain drug and alcohol free space. But if people want to exercise their personal choice outside of the space, they should be entitled to do that provided they don't disrupt the space.
  96. Kat - same problems in melbourne. We had drug/alchohol free space. Difficult at first. But then the nearby homeless people would also not drink. Over time the boundaries getting pushed. We were telling people to leave who were breaking the policy. Constant re-affirmation with people that we love them, but when they're drunk they have to go away. Come back when you're sober. No hard feelings.
  97. K3 - One member of occupy who is not here said if I ever needed to talk about it I could. Went out to george st last night...
  98. Amber - I heard you were sleeping directly on the street?
  99. K3 - I was dancing on george st asking people "tAhere are millions of children dying out in the world and do you care if I get hit?" [REDACTED]
  100. Marc - I don't like this. Why does K3 have to justify himself?
  101. Jaqi - recent experience is of being trodden on by someone who was drunk. Police are attracted when people at occupy are drinking. Maybe we do need to build in moments when we can drink, but in a suitable context ie. pub outing etc. Maybe there are people in our networks who can help people with addiction problems.
  102. Chris - Don't see it a problem going away and coming back.
  103. Amber - we need to reign in this problem. I'm sorry to bring it up K3, but I was worried about you.
  104. Marc - I think it is important to be sober here because you are representing a movement that is already represented in the media as a bunch of dope-smoking hippies and don't want to confirm those biases. Also need to be able to
  105. Ruby - about safer spaces, not about who gets to drink and who doesn't; propose WG
  106. ----
  107. GA End time - 8pm
  109. PASSED  - Working Group to Decide Speaker(s) for City Talks. 5.30pm Monday at Martin Place.
  110. PASSED - Kitchen & Food Supply Working Group Sunday (tomorrow) at 6pm
  111. PASSED  - Flash mob with occupy sydney banner for Sunday (tomorrow) at 2pm at Pitt st Mall.
  112. PASSED - Drug and Alchohol Working Group next Wednesdqy at 5pm

GA Minutes Wed 11/04/12

Rohan - Facilitation
Hugo - Minutes
Chris - speaker taker

#notes on minutes; May contain errors and mistranslation. Also includes paraphrasing.

Notable attendees;
Catherine from SMH (taking notes for upcoming story?)
Bradley from Occupy Brisbane/ Occupy Adelaide


Agenda Items



Welcome to country.

Announcements/ Reportbacks;

Lil - Occupy Sydney Festival of Dissent to celebrate 6months of OSYD- starting Friday 9.30am

Friday 13th Occupy the Courts

Occupy Fridays - 6pm on. Bring art/craft/musical instrument. Sustainable Cinema screening. Bring sleeping gear

Saturday - Occupy the Suburbs  - 9.30am Church St Mall, Parramatta

Saturday - Free School

Saturday - 6month GA at 6pm

Saturday - Midnight  6 months of Occupy Sydney

Bob - Police have made law up as they went along over past 6months. They've failed to end our protest. Police have attempted to use council bylaws to overthrow our constitutional and common-law rights. Charges have not been successful in court, eg. camping, staying overnight.  These are minor infringements that should have been dealt with infringement notices. Police did not have the power to arrest for staying overnight or camping. Last week magistrate found these arrests to be illegal arrests. Bail conditions police imposed were an attempt to stop people from protesting. Amounts to a police curfew imposed on the citizens of NSW. Upcoming charges are likely to be dismissed as it is example of political policing. Despite all the intimidation and harassment of police, we're still here. A great victory for free speech in NSW. Shows that police were mainly concerned with stopping political protest.

Bradley - update from Brisbane. Occupy Bris has been scattered due to bylaws (accrued up to $8000 in fines). Regular assemblies every sunday. Taking part in solidarity actions with lock the gate and other such groups. Campaigning on the ground with communities coping it tough from big corporations. Tent Embassy has set up in Musgrave park. Occupy Brisbane now camping in solidarity with the Tent Embassy.

Update from Adelaide. some Occupy Adelaide people will be setting up with Tent Embassy in Adelaide

Rosie - Free-school on Saturday at 1.30pm.  Session on Multi-generational activism. Call out for Activist families.

Rohan - legals update - Vicki Westpac trespass tomorrow (thursday) at 10am.  Other matters on Friday.

Frank - IWWW events are clashing with OSYD fridays. IWWW organising for same fight as OSYD.

Bob - formally apologises for event clashes with IWWW

Scotty - CSG benefit gig on at Wollongong this Saturday. Sorry for the clash.

Darcy - report back from Darwin convergence on Good Friday. Representation from Refugee Action Committee and Refugee Action Network. Marched through city to immigration offices. Around 200 in attendance. Approached detainees to speak with them face-to-face. Details on greenleftweekly.org.
left on Saturday morning, but heard of Wickham pt action on Saturday afternoon. Seven individuals arrested. Haven't heard full story.

Final action at IDCs on monday all around Australia. Solidarity march from Chesterhill to Villawood. Hope this gets attention. Do the research. Look for Marcus from RAN, speech outside IDC in Darwin.

Bob - Asylum seekers have the right to seek asylum, but apparently in Australia they only have the right to be jailed.

Rohan - report back on USYD cuts protest. Last wednesday massive rally against the cuts. Lots of speeches. Big turnout. Decisio to occupy dean of arts office. More than 50 occupying the office. Told we had to leave by 3.30pm. We left when we were finished around 4.30pm. Lots more actions planned. Campaign will escalate.


Agenda Items:







ANZAC day;

Bradley - initiative by Graham Dunstun of Peace movement to remember the fallen of Freedom Fighters who stood against colonial oppression on the Frontier Wars, even before ANZAC was coined.

Scotty -  will approach RSL to speak to vets about protesting our  current involvement with unjust wars for ANZAC day action.

Lil -  people thought WW1 was the war to end all wars. We need to ask why we are still fighting so many wars.

Bradley - all lives lost from Gallipoli onwards were fought on foreign soil. Not defensive wars.

Bob - boer war for white settlers in SA. Also maori wars in NZ - large numbers who signed up for Maori wars became NSW police.

Frank - have to consider possibility of pissing off veterans.

Jaqi - wonder if Irish might want to be involved?

Bob -

Hugo - maybe a good opportunity to draw attention to all the secret wars. If we are commemorating our troops, maybe we deserve to know where they are deployed and what they are actually doing…

Bradley - if we are remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, then we should be aware that the flag we stand under is an oppressive symbol for all those who lost their lives in the frontier wars. Don't want to step on anyone's toes.

Darcy - perhaps on that Weekend we can move to a general assembly that addresses May Day. ANZAC is not a biscuit, just a word.

Bradley - apparently there is a movement to commemorate Pemulway as a national folk hero.

Bradley - apparently Mushy got to be face-to-face with John Howard today.

Bob- I think Howard was going around to the banks with an empty brown bag…



Rohan - cooking and eating together is a good bonding experience. Maybe we can start to get a kitchen again. Distribute to anyone who wants it as a commerce free space. Good way to get people together.

Darcy - we should aim to get it going once a week first. I can get food.

Russ - I used to be a chef.



Rohan - May 12 is an international day of action. what happens in Australia gets on the news as the rest of the world is waking up.

Jaqi - Could it be an invitation to re-occupy?

Rohan - have a think about it.



Lil - Same old story about numbers. Not many occupying. People who are are growing tired. Don't want to make proposal - but sunday marks 6months of occupying and with the numbers we have at the moment, it is not easy to continue to occupy. Uncomfortable in saying this, due to accusations of trying to shut down movement, but a months break until May 15 could be a good idea to build the movement  - perhaps a rally? See if we can get a mass re-occupation. Many people have said since the re-occupation is that we need a re-occupation. Will swallow my pride and say maybe we do need a re-occupation.

Russ - many of us are a little shell-shocked. I know I am. Thanks to everyone for supporting me while I was not in a good way. The sheer amount of shock-violence that has happened around us (through no fault of our own) has taken its toll. I think everyone needs a bit of RnR. I'm concerned about the welfare of others in the group.

Maloe - maybe we can post flyers and advertise the fact that we've won our cases - somewhat safe from police actions. A lot of other issues, but at least the police aren't as much of an issue if we want to start getting people on board.

Rohan - we are on the streets - so we are never going to be 100% safe.

Frank - with dwindling numbers I reckon that has been because of violence. Not violence that comes from us, but from violence in our everyday lives. We got smashed in the beginning. We couldn't setup a safe place because the state wouldn't let us. We got smashed by the 1% that tiny minority that controls our lives. We have to be patient and resilient.

Rohan - Lil's idea for a month's break doesn't preclude other people from occupying. I don't want to disband the occupation, but I can't maintain it on my own. Staying in Martin Place has given opportunity to develop social bonds.

Bob - the practicalities of it - we don't have the physical numbers to maintain it 24/7. We shouldn't give up the occupy, but perhaps we can maintain a daytime occupy. In people's movements theres ebbs and flows. We're heading into a period of an ebb. By maintaining our presence, we are ready to expand when the situation calls for it. If economic or social conditions change, we can easily expand back to 24/7 occupy.  I can practically maintain a daytime occupation myself.

Bradley - experiences of Brisbane and Adelaide. When Brisbane was pushed out by the authorities, it did kick the wind out of our sails. But a core group carried on; regular rallies, GAs and actions. Haven't been in Brisbane since opening of Tent Embassy, but that now gives occupy a permanent presence. It is important to me - if you guys weren't here I'd be wandering the streets or something. Occupy Sydney is like a little beacon of hope for me. I wish youse well.  A months break within a movement like this is a long time…

Scotty - perhaps getting in touch with other protest groups that are around. Collaborate. Get people re-invigorated that way.

Jaqi - I think we should acknowledge the enormous work Lil has done. 

Rohan - Everyone is their own person.

Scotty - Everyone is capable of great things.

Rohan - just something to think about. 6months is an amazing achievement.



Rohan - started writing a few articles. I'd like to see a declaimer saying the views and options expressed are those of the authors only.

Hugo - what article length for submission?

Rohan - just b/w, cheap, quick printing.

Jaqi - I have a bunch of ISBNs

Bradley -  I love what's coming out of occupy sydney online, media etc. Great work.

Scotty - How can we get through to people? Truth can be confronting.

Darcy - Do you need any worker's stories? Perhaps could do a piece on barefootism.



Frank - it's a 4day protest festival against a uranium mine.

Bradley - 14th of July. Melbourne is holding a lizard rising fundraiser on 27 April.  Uncle Kev was recently in court taking gov to task about Roxby expansion. Things are looking hopeful.


Here endeth the GA.

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