The May 15th Planning Group – Meeting 1
7:30pm 7th March 2012 The Quad @ LSE
Tess- Facilitator Jack – Minutes
S – We should support Chicago for G8, they’ll probably be battered.
Direct Point – It’s been moved to Camp David because they’re scared.
O – block the bridge again, as we did the week before Occupy LSX.
S – Aiming to work closely with European counterparts. Greece has been fairly quiet recently. They could wake up
A – When hearing M12 M15 M18 as dates and names people are using for these days– they sound like motorways, we should pick those based on dates. People could be going to junctions up and down the country. That would spark interest for the entire month.
H – With regards to targets and stealth or non stealth… E.g. smash EDO group. Pick a big map of potential targets. A brief description of each. I remember a paranoia, where the service staff panicked and shut things down anyway. Potential for small actions and impromptu bigger actions.
S – in response to blocking the bridge, we can do that at any time. It was also symbolic for blocking the hospital from the Houses of Parliament. Also, to double check…. this issue regarding M12 date. If people around Europe are actually doing something that day. I know today is about M15 but is M12 still being worked on. We can’t look like we’re acting independently.
T – Sure we should, there should be a meeting about M12 sure but today is M15 instead.
R – can we remember this is a brainstorm, let’s keep it positive, not tear ideas down. Anything can be worked back and be symbolic that’s for us to do. We block the bridges for example, we block London. Next Saturday at Ye Olde London, we’ll still be having the general May discussion after the 2pm GA.
T – I noticed today that the fences around parliament square seem to have been taken down.
D – what we do on M12 can lead to bigger things. I work most of the week, so M12 leading through to M15 could be a better strategy.
A – whatever we decide to do on M15 it needs to have a broad base so different people can feed into it. These are said to feed into global action but to be honest all the days’ worldwide re slightly different.
T – Thought of a couple of points, talking of Smash EDO they were quite prominent in Brighton last year. They decided not to release final location until 15 mins before actual gathering. This allowed people to be in mostly the same place and the final location decided then. They made a big dice with locations on and a dice roll decided the target. It was very fluid, allowing for sudden change. Second point. Joint cause, if we can pick a target that numerous groups hate than the numbers will grow a lot. That might be worth considering. Subvertising on the lead up is worthy too. I feel LSX worked so well because of the publicising beforehand.
F – The more we can stick to one date the better. Having something common will be bigger and better. 12th should be more inclusive. This is a second chance to reach for that.
K – Moving towards 2 dates, I agree with 12th being family friendly and 15th a little harder.
U – People should thing of a centralised or decentralised focus. Targeting trade in general. Blocking roads, railways etc. You do that right you shut it down.
O – Mentioned earlier about disparate dates globally. It’s a shame about Canary Wharf Injunction
N – Give the idea of trade and structure. No government terrified more than the fuel protests a while back. Other occupations have done well with the metro network.
A – M15 looks like MI5. We’re going to maybe be following people and put out some information about them. Seems collaborative.
F – Picking different targets, strong. I like the idea of shutting down the whole city. It’s quite in line with the global actions we’ve seen.
J – Quarantine the City, very disparate actions. Differing levels. Could be flexible. We could set a perimeter at the same time and teams could head into the centre and shut down the bigger businesses as they’re public health concerns.
A – Occupy Sports (football matches etc.)
A – Spain & France wants to shut down their sports. Looking at ports in London.
T – really liking way you’re saying about multiple actions. Before kettling can stop us BANG another action has started somewhere else. Maybe that for both days. Keep them running round.
R – press team are going to be announcing first planning meeting looking at May as a whole. Building on the MI5 suggestion. “Your mission should you choose to accept it”. Exciting to try and involve the public. We’ve done some research around 3 targets, let’s say. Ask people to find the things they want to look at. Say Canary Wharf… encourages people to learn about what goes on there. Then it doesn’t matter if we don’t do all of them. E.g. HP, Canary Wharf. The Olympics.
S – For years there’s been talk in CoL of the ring of iron. There are a few main access points. People are inadvertently lead into these main access points. There’s an exhibit in Museum of London about how this has happened. That gives us a good start to look at how that access works.
J – few points about multiple targets. Public transport is good. Having teams going around on the tube doing mic checks. Then finally heading towards a final meeting with any you gathered on the way for a nice evening GA. Also, think of how to build globally. What does global solidarity look like and mean. We’re not truly global yet, it’s still coming together.
S – talking to J about these things we felt inclusivity should be a part of the focus. Regarding 15th I’m against shutting ports and roads, it’ll turn public against us and show an unclear message. The more people identify with the target the better. A clear answer to why we targeted it the better.
J – I was going to suggest shutting the tube but after what that person just said…
W- people already here clearly love direct action, but mustn’t forget to help those new to it. If we do something to disrupt families, it’ll go against us. Shutting public transport will be targeting the wrong people. Be careful not to be seen using people as beacons.
I – Like the MI5 idea. With regards to being disruptive and targeting. Be very clear. EG. We’re occupying this place because of a specific reason e.g. A shut hospital to highlight cuts.
S – For me DA is about having an immediate effect on something that concerns you quite strongly. Whatever we choose should reflect that. OF course be careful not to pre determine that for the wider group. DA is normally about trying to stop something. A main thing at Occupy is the idea of capital e.g. When a climate groups stops coal being dug for a day they can show tangible amount stopped. SO be creative, find creative ways of doing things. You see, I quite like the idea of stopping trains. It prevents workers heading to corporate environments to work for the day.
I – I do agree we don’t want to piss off the public. I might be too optimistic about the support we could have by May. Talking of strikes, when RMT goes on strike it does affect things for the day. Point about DA having diff sides. This should be a symbolic action.
V – More disruption you’re planning, the better the justification has to be. Shouldn’t be seen as just being pissed off, can’t allow to be seen as have no idea for how to improve things.
M – S idea about train station… I wonder if it’d be better to block entrances to corporations. If we stop train services for instance… people with hospital appointments can’t get there. It’ll take us down a peg in the eyes of people. Focus the disruption.
M – Be prepared about not having the support we would necessarily want. Have A SCALABLE target.
Y – When RMT stop the trains they piss a lot of people.
Q – Might be too early for proposals but… it seems that people are for multiple actions. I propose M15 be a day of multiple actions.
S – proposals will have to be taken to the GA.
I – this is more of a brainstorm. let’s not head to proposals.
F – Maybe have a cut off for brainstorming, and towards the end try and work up some proposals.
I – Remember the English mentality. Try not to raise the stuff that’ll shut their minds. It has been gradual getting my friends on side. This is Occupy LSX remember. The support is there for that. Be careful not to give the press a perfect win. My idea for action would be to let off 4 stink bombs in every branch of Barclays Bank across the world! I’d love to see a family fun day in Hyde Park.
N – I like the idea of keeping pressure on the CoL. If we shut the main access to the city on the day. People will notice. People that read about it on the news will see why the target was chosen. Even actually trying to get into paternoster square. It’s a small place and there will actually be minimal disruption.
P – When people were down in the Tube during the blitz. If we invite people who are going to work to take their bedding down into the tubes. When people being evicted from st Pauls. There were police surrounding us then us surrounding them then us surrounding them. Then the police surround us again. Let’s do that kind of thing. Something in the centre … then police come… then we surround them and say, well you’re not going anywhere.
Q – May is like our second assault. It needs to be powerful. Occupy is powerful because anarchists are working with liberals. we hate the bankers more than each other. M15 more spiky than 12th.
L – engaging the public and targeting a major corporation can be done. At ports say, there are still refineries. There are hedge funds waiting to come in and buy ports. Whatever we do the Daily Mail will say we’re troublemakers. Take corporations WG looking at giving information about companies not just perform actions.
O – co opt the bus drivers. Get them to not stop at all in certain areas.
V – Today is surely about framing the actions. Use a GA maybe for brainstorming targets and this meeting to frame it first.
X – say, actions in banks, we could do little things like that. We could do false flag publicising. They’ll shut down stuff for us.
N – I’ve wanted to challenge the idea that’ll we’ll piss off the public. All of these things that disrupt the day to day. For instance when a group blocked Oxford Circus, there was massive interaction with the public.
P – It’s not about not disrupting; it’s about having a clear reason for the disruption.
K – my place in line was in case I needed to say something… I don’t
S – DA is disruption. Reality is that if we do it, then people will suffer to some degree. The word strike comes up… that is about stopping.
F – now it’s 9pm.
J – DA could be made an adventure. Have treasure hunt type things? It could be empowering for those delving around and following signs etc.
Q – In Europe there are things like mass fare evasion on public transport. This is still a statement. It doesn’t put other people out. There’s the option like in the US about finding people truly suffering from cuts and using action to work with them and highlight things.
H – If we can keep the line that it is the police causing most of the disruption that could help. On 15th October that was the feeling
U – Just to point out, say 400 police at eviction for 100 campers. That was their disruption. Take games for sure, anyone know assassin? [tumbleweed blows across room]… OK. That game can be fun. No killing… obviously
I – projectors. Sometime early evening. People walking past a building, will see a presentation presented on a building highlighting the things they do in there. It could educate people further, not to sound patronising though.
R – Keep thinking back to May last year, people realised that we should start targeting the city. People thought it’d never happen but then Wall St, and we thought, fuck it. Let’s do it. The places that have injunctions, surely they just forward themselves for targets. There is nothing in the city though anymore… Canary Wharf is the new hub.
M – Express some slight doubts about doing things through GA. We often end up with very middling things. Some just came from a meeting with Boris Johnson. The mic check there was applauded.
H – I still like the MI5 idea. I also thought about how you can provoke. Anything we announce about the CoL will provoke extreme overreaction from them, they’re very panicky. This can be a tool. The fact that this is a new birth, we can broaden the argument.
O – Any kind of dry sarcasm and wit underlying an action will be useful.
Y – a well crafted press release will be important. Put a call out from 9-5 and we’ll keep the sods waiting around all day to police us.
P – I know most people are here for physical DA but there can be more facets. For example, a few people targeted a Tesco recently. Teams outside. Undercover people headed in. People may have done some naughty things to their website. At the arms fair last year, a few people occupied a dock while other stuff was going on. Diversity allows some action to fail and the others continue.
Q – I say we should meet just a few more times. Maybe a smaller group. Narrow things down before we have a GA decision. A few more meetings like this will be really useful
I – MI6 then… March 16 it’ll be a 100 years since captain Oates famous line of “I’ll be going out, I may be some time”
H – not to criticise, but meetings are announced then people don’t come. Then we bring a proposal back and people just block it because they can. I’m not suggesting we avoid the GA. A general assembly situation will perhaps destroy this.
F- I’d also like to perhaps head to the guildhall and serve them with an eviction notice. At the start of this I was unaware of things, and many still are. Focus a DA on Parliament to show we are still supposed to be part of that process.
W – I disagree; we should still involve the GA People respond better when they have felt involved. There are many who don’t come to these meetings as they feel they will have no voice. They feel they do have a voice at the GA.
U – A narrowed choice could allow for a better choice by the time we present to a GA.
S – The point of this meeting is that we don’t have to keep reporting back. We got consensus on that. Obviously we have to get consensus. If people feel we shouldn’t do certain things we should build a platform where they can feed through to us.
K – I would love to reconcile what W said about the GA, but I can’t see anything that would fit into it. The process becomes very cyclical.
F – OK three options seem to be here.
Do everything in this group and present a final proposal.-
Keep brainstorming here and but also have a GA brainstorming session to feedback here – [most warmly received] [no one blocks it]
Let the GA provide most of the brainstorming -
[facilitator works through proposal. The group finally morphs the proposal to bring a brainstorm to Saturday’s GA as well as continuing ideas in this meeting.]
T – worried a little. We need to carefully structure the discussion at a GA. If we get nearer to the may date and then the GA turns around and says no. It could all fall apart.
J – It seems that we’re not getting consensus on this. SO we shan’t have a brainstorming session at Saturday’s GA.
[flip chart note taker feeds back ideas drawn up during the meeting – They’re contained within these minutes.]
[suggestions for next meeting]
S – Calls that it not be another Wednesday. Suggestion of next Monday.
I – this place may not be available on
Next meeting time finalised
Monday 12th March 7:30pm Location tbc.
U – We will have a minute taker who will be able feedback to those unable to attend.
PROCESS POINTS – the lack of faith here for the GA is worrying. Eventually we could have to split. The camp vs. activist split.
PROCESS POINT – If people come to the GA planning meeting asking to talk about this subject we may end up with a discussion session anyway.
[group appreciation for the excellent facilitating!]