LIVE BLOG: Occupy Sydney general assembly

October 25, 2011

9.30pm: The general assembly passed several other proposals (which happened after GLW's laptop had a temporary power emergency).

These included: a decision to lodge a schedule one with the police outlinining a march route from Town Hall, to Wynyard Park, to Martin Place, and back to Town Hall.

The assembly also agreed on the statement read out earlier that night. Now occupations in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide have a common statement, which will be printed by Fairfax by Friday (so we were told).

8.53pm Proposal: That we submit a schedule one form to the police indicated that we have the right to march. Some speakers said that were concerned about submitting this.

Other people clarified that it provides added legal protection to the march ... if the form is submitted the police need to take occupy Sydney to the supreme court to stop it. The court has never ruled against a protest before. Others mentioned that without a schedule one, the police may attempt to prevent a march. Two people have blocked the proposal.

Proposal that a working group be set up to make a decision on this. Meanwhile, police have threatened the assembly that unless they move in 20 minutes all present will be issued with an infringement notice. This news was greeted with laughter and derision from the general assembly

8:38pm: Proposal, That we seek voices from marginalised communities to speak at November 5 rally.

Proposal: That one of the MC’s for November 5 be an indigenous person. Motion adopted by consensus.

Speakers for November 5: That occupy Sydney asks, Stuart Littlemore, three union representatives, Maree O’Halloran, someone from occupy wall st or Egypt, a former detained refugee, and to read a statement of support from Noam Chomsky. Also proposed that there be a gender balance with the speakers platform. The speakers, along with a proposal that there be an open mike at the November 5 rally adopted. Proposal that the speakers be limited to 5 minutes each adopted.

8.18pm: Speaker: proposal that occupy sydney submits a schedule one form for a march to Martin Place so we have the right to march on November 5 if occupy sydney decides too. The November 5 rally will begin in Town Hall. Some speakers have suggested the occupation stays in Town Hall.

Working group representative clarified that two options discussed in working group so far are Wynyard Park and Martin Place, Town Hall was also canvassed but had little support there. Encouraged ppl with other proposals for new occupation sites.

New speaker, Freya: Proposal that occupy Sydney has more of its own banners, posters, placards etc. But said censorship of participating groups (i.e. preventing them from bringing their own material) would be counterproductive. Also said her preference for an occupation site is Martin Place. Striking Qantas workers contingent is likely to join rally on November 5.

Proposal to restrict socialist involvement in occupy Sydney refered to a working group. Chairperson moved that no one group controls occupy Sydney. Adopted by consensus.

Above: Occupy Sydney General Assembly being held in the rain at Martin Place on October 26. Photo by Kiraz Janicke.

7.52pm: Proposal made for November 5 to be dynamic and creative: a funeral procession with a big banner that says: ‘Is democracy dead.’

Next speaker: Former mainstream journalist takes the mike. Says this is the first time he has spoken at the GA and describes how he has “now developed a conscience”. Suggests a “meme” for the occupy movement. ‘Why is it when millions are struggling, that that conservative political say its understandable there are protest, then why is it not possible for us to occupy 100 square metres of the city. If we can’t protest here then why cannot we use this space to express ourselves as citizens. This proves our point that the system is not really for the 99% of people.

Next speaker, Larissa. Discussed report that the Young Liberals are planning to counter protest on November 5. She said there are a large contingent of political conservatives who are sympathetic with the occupy movement. Anyone who wants to join us, conservatives or otherwise, should be welcomed.

7.40pm: Susan Price reports back from the working group for the next big occupy Sydney action on November 5. Suggested speakers for the rally include: Lawyer Stuart Littlemore, TAFE teachers, Finance Sector Union, Welfare Rights Centre, speaker from Occupy Wall Street or someone involved in Egypt’s revolution, Noam Chomsky (who will be visiting Sydney) and a refugee.

Also proposed that occupy Sydney organise several workshops after the Nov 5 rally. Several music groups will also be asked to perform.

Proposed high profile MC alongside someone from occupy Sydney. An offer to help with a big PA system has already been made.

7.28pm — Updated Pip Hinman reports that three City of Sydney councillors have indicated their support are being approached to support for the right of occupy sydney to protest and to get council to push for an investigation into the police violence on October 23.

Jesse Wynhausen reports to the GA that an opinion piece supporting occupy sydney will appear in tomorrow's Daily Telegraph.

7.20pm: Visitor from Occupy Brisbane gives greetings to the GA. He says the occupation there is very strong, with more than 100 people staying overnight. Occupy Brisbane is growing every day.

Some participants said the statement is not suitable and needs to include a reference to the inclusion of people of all genders and all sexualities. The GA will discuss the statement more later tonight

7.16pm: Daniel Robins reads a statement that has been endorsed by Occupy Brisbane, Occupy Canberra, Occupy Melbourne and Occupy Perth.

Very loud cheers and support for Sydney adopting the statement too.

Apparently, the Sydney Morning Herald will publish the statement on Friday

7.12pm: Paul Benedek moves a motion of solidarity form occupy sydney with Occupy Oakland, which police attacked with tear gas and flash grenades earlier today.

7.09pm: Proposal to ensure that women be represented among Occupy Sydney's was cheered.

7:07pm: Working group that has discussed a new site for Occupy Sydney reported back to the general assembly.

The group discussed two main options: return to Martin Place or move to Wynyard Park, near Wynyard station.

The assembly may like to discuss these two options, but if there is no agreement perhaps a working group can be asked to work out the best options re logistics, visibility and political impact.

6.53pm:: About 150 people have gathered for the Occupy Sydney general assembly in Martin Place. The assembly is still discussing the agenda for this evening.

Of the agenda proposals so far, one proposal to discuss Occupy Sydney's solidarity with the protesters arrested when the police broke up the occupation on the morning of October 23 received warm applause.


Congratulations to Green Left for its live blogging of #occupy movement in Australia. I'd urge people reading to send in their pics as they are taken via Twitter to @greenleftweekly
Thanks for this. I tried to watch the livestream of the GA but the sound wasn't great, so now i know what was discussed and what got passed.
I'm referring to "Proposal to restrict socialist involvement in occupy Sydney refered to a working group. Chairperson moved that no one group controls occupy Sydney. Adopted by consensus." On the same note, I believe it a perfectly logical progression that ANY group that does not represent the entirety of Occupy Sydney must not be permitted. It is for sure that I, for one, will not return even under the merest chance of somebody making the assumption that I am associating myself with anything akin to the socialist group. I can't speak for anybody else who may be considering attendance but I'm sure you will be able to see that people will make that assumption and not attend because of it.
This is very useful to all of us who just can't make it there - for whatever reason. I have never seen a link in Twitter or on Facebook (till now) which shows what was discussed and agreed to by the GA. Regards, #membersvoice
nice work live blogging, from.leyne
NSW Police officer admits Occupy Sydney raid "not how it should have happened": Police ignoring harassment happening in front of them: Police back down from issuing infringement notices: Policewoman removing link to police brutality video but leaves mess: And images of some of the horse shit I saw left in the city by NSW Mounted Police:
Any attempt at political censorship will destroy this movement. To stay strong and advancing, the Occupy movement needs to keep the high moral ground, reach out to more layers of the 99% and remain united and inclusive. It should welcome all individuals, community groups, trade unions, political groups and other group opposing the tyranny of the richest 1%. It can work out how to do this collectively and democratically. No one individual or group speaks for the others or should be assumed to do so. All these attempts at censorship of socialists are destructive and actually help the 1% and their agencies of repression, whatever the motivations of the individuals or groups pushing them. If you study the history of police covert intervention in movements you will see many examples of how they encouraged and fostered such divisive practices to weaken popular movements. Learn from the COINTELPRO operations in the US. COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. COINTELPRO tactics included discrediting targets through psychological warfare, planting false reports in the media, smearing through forged letters, harassment, wrongful imprisonment, extralegal violence and assassination. COINTELPRO documents disclose numerous cases of the FBI's intentions to stop the mass protest against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish the assignment. These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations. Read more here. Peter Boyle
Get the sound right first, worry about image second, especially if you are livestreaming a meeting, forum, talk or speech. Figured that out quickly after livestreaming for the first time at the Climate Change Social Change Conference a few weeks ago.
Your logic is pretty bizarre: "I believe it a perfectly logical progression that ANY group that does not represent the entirety of Occupy Sydney must not be permitted." The logical extension of this would be that ANY INDIVIDUAL that does not represent the entirety of Occupy Sydney must not be permitted. Which would be totally ridiculous, as one of the key characteristics of this movement has been diversity. Indeed, what exactly does "represent the entirety of Occupy Sydney"? This is a long way from being defined. It seems you are trying to impose your own narrow view on what Occupy Sydney should and shouldnt be. If you want to be a part of a movement like this, you are going to have to accept that you are not going to agree with everyone. If you really are serious about not returning "even under the merest chance of somebody making the assumption that I am associating myself with anything akin to the socialist group", then i think theres no hope for your involvement. The Occupy movement has raised many concerns that socialists share. Even if all socialists are purged from the movement, someone, somewhere is still going assume "socialism" when they see the concerns raised. The strength of this movement will be seen when people set aside their differences and work towards a common goal.
The high ground is not a "leftist" "anti-all-authory" movement I'm afraid. You're gonna miss out on half the population!

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