Welcome to the General Assembly of Occupy London.
See what’s coming up at the General Assembly by visiting the schedule of assemblies and proposals.
The General Assembly minutes are normally taken and made available within 24 hours.
The General Assembly is a gathering of people committed to discussing issues and making decisions based upon a collective agreement or “consensus”. There is no single leader or governing body of the General Assembly – everyone’s voice is equal. Anyone is free to propose an idea or express an opinion as part of the General Assembly.
So that people have time to think about the issues and decisions that are coming up, discussion topics and proposals for consensus are scheduled in advance. A facilitator guides the General Assembly through an agenda created within open planning meetings.
Making a consensus decision about a proposal follows a basic format. An individual shares what is being proposed, why it is being proposed, and, if there is enough agreement, how it can be carried out. The General Assembly will express its opinion for each proposal through a series of hand gestures. If there is positive consensus for a proposal – meaning no outright opposition – then it is accepted and the proposed action will be taken. If there is not consensus, the responsible group or individual is asked to revise the proposal with the contribution of the blocker, and submit again at the following General Assembly until a consensus is achieved.
For each discussion topic, the General Assembly will break up into groups of about ten people for a closer discussion of particular issues, before each group feeds back a summary of their discussion for everybody to hear. This is a highly constructive process, where fresh concerns are raised and new proposals are created.
The General Assembly is broadcast live across the Internet, so that people outside the camp can observe what is happening.
Everybody expects the processes surrounding the General Assembly to be democratic, transparent, and accountable. The General Assembly working group maintains templates for the facilitator’s plan and descriptions of planning meeting activities, so that everybody can understand how to produce the General Assembly. All the General Assembly planning meetings are open. Everybody is welcome to attend and contribute to the activities of the meetings, or simply observe. There are two “forward planning” meetings per week to decide and schedule the discussion topics for the evening general assemblies. There is one “issue resolutions” meeting per week when proposals to resolve issues that have been raised with the processes surrounding the General Assembly can be decided. The time and location of all planning meetings is published in advance. Planning meeting minutes are taken and normally available within a few days.
Beyond the General Assembly, there are smaller gatherings known as Working Groups that focus on supporting specific initiatives or topics relevant to the movement. These range from Food, Medical, and Legal Committees to Media, Tranquility, Direct Action and many more. All groups are open to anyone interested in supporting. Please visit the Info tent for more information about the working groups.
If you’re interested to create your own General Assembly, check out the Occupy London’s Toolkit for Occupy Everywhere which was produced for the day of action on December 15th.