Update 13 Nov

Banner change around

The banner at the front of our home that read ‘Capitalism Isn’t Working’ (pictured below) has been moved to make way for a new banner that will read ‘Welcome to Occupy London Finsbury Square’.

'Capitalism Isn't Working' (photo by Hugh Hill)

Update 11 Nov

Robson Cezar and his art, made from 2,200 bottle tops (photos by Lydia Stott)

Everyone is an Artist at Finsbury Square

Today’s art exhibition curated by Robson Cezar (pictured above) was a great success. Robson and his art have become a staple of OccupyLFS and today there was performance art, banner making, a Mad Hatter’s ‘Occupy Wonderland’ Tea Party (pictured below) in addition to Robson’s own infamous ‘bottle top art’.

 

Meeting with Islington Council

Today also saw our second meeting with the Islington Council. The meeting was very constructive and many points were covered. It is anticipated that issues raised by the Council relating to fire safety, on-site health, waste and energy management will be resolved within the next few days.

Our next meeting with the Council will be in one week’s time.

Event Today: Everybody is an artist at Finsbury Square

Free exhibition by artists in support of #occupylondon will be open from 11am till 8pm at Finsbury Square.

Artists are invited to participate: You can pitch a tent to show your work in. You can put a sculpture on the grass. You can bring a picture and an easel to display it. You can do a performance. You can make a banner or a flag.

Link on the London List website here.

If you would like to be involved please contact robsoncezar@hotmail.com

Initial response to Islington Council

Following a meeting with Islington Council we have received an informal letter dated Friday 4 November.

The letter says that the Council recognises the right to protest, but that we are considered to be trespassing. It continues to say that the camp is “affecting the normal operation of local businesses and residents” though it accepts that we are working to minimise any negative impact in this regard.

We are glad that the Council are not undertaking legal proceedings against the camp as we agree that the money required for such action would be better used “to provide essential services to [Islington's] most vulnerable residents”.

We recognise that Islington is one of the most deprived boroughs in Britain and, along with Councils across the country, faces huge cuts in government funding. We believe the activities of the richest 1% during such a time of heavily imposed government austerity are an afront and an insult to social and economic justice.

We see part of our activity here in Islington as enriching the community we have now joined and consider the occupation of Finsbury Square as a positive contribution towards public education; providing an open platform for debate and a forum for the people of Islington and the general public to discuss the issues that concern them. We have had overwhelming support from those that have engaged us in discussion and look forward to extending and improving this conversation.

The letter makes several recommendations regarding health, safety and fire risks onsite. All the recommendations been taken on board and the majority will be dealt with within the next two to three days, if they are not in place already. We are also in contact with Environmental and Health Officers (EHO) in regards to these issues.

We are pleased that there is an ongoing constructive dialogue between us and the Council and look forward to our next meeting with them this coming Friday.

Brief update Wed 9 Nov

Today’s demonstration on the Government’s White Paper on Higher Education took place today.

Occupy London Statement on #9Nov and the Right to Protest is here.

Here at Finsbury Square there was concern that the police might use the presence of the demonstration would be used as a reason to evacuate the camp, but this has so far not happened.

There have reportedly been 20 arrests today.

Islington Council have served us with an informal letter and the reply has now been published above.

Thursday 4 Nov. Update

Council visit this morning

Islington Council are visiting once a day at the Finsbury Square site and continue to be satisfied with how the site is being run. There has been no change in their message; there are no plans for any formal proceedings at the moment. There will be a meeting tomorrow between the camp and the Council tomorrow at 2pm, we will update on this tomorrow.

Finsbury Square Bistro

A working group has been established to talk with the Bistro in Finsbury Square. The group are working with the owners to make the site work for us all, promote the continued running of the Bistro, and spot opportunities which benefit both them and the Occupation. The group will update the GA (General Assembly) with progress and any resulting proposals, for consensus.

Bike Shop

One of the men who is staying at the camp and is currently homeless, has set up a bike repair shop at the front of Finsbury Square. He will be repairing bikes for a donation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Luke’s Community Centre

Today, representatives from St Luke’s came to site to speak with us about TimeBank. This is a means of capturing and sharing the valuable talents, skills and capabilities within the community.  A proposal went to the GA this evening, for Occupy LFS to register as a member organization to the St Luke’s community time bank.  Through this, Occupy LFS would gain access to the community centre’s facilities and the resources of the time bank, in exchange for offering services out to the local community.

GA yesterday

  • A proposal to establish a support and mediation group was approved
  • A proposal to establish an art working group was approved
  • A proposal to set up an Occupation Outreach website was declined, the proposer was directed to existing groups to discuss the idea further

 

Voices from The Occupation

Mahatma Ghandi ~ “A nation’s greatness is measured by the way it treats it’s weakest members”

We Need To Talk About Kenneth
The Occupy movement is spreading around the globe.  Over 1000 locations in 90 countries.  Britain alone has more than 20 established camps, and more planned each day.  The movement is diverse – doctors, lawyers, office workers, community workers, the unemployed – and the homeless, the infirm, the alcohol and drug dependent.  Each Occupation seeks to balance creating good neighbourliness, a safe space for women and children – with the will to offer welcome to all, including the more erratic and unstable of our number.  How we respond to this issue is not just important for the individual and collective wellbeing of occupiers, but as a living demonstration of the real capability of groups of people to meet the needs of their community…

Wednesday 2 Nov. Update

Three representatives from Islington Council inspected the site today and informed us verbally that though we are trespassing on Council land there is currently no intention on behalf of the Council to begin formal proceedings to evict the camp.

We were informed however, that by Monday at the latest, we will be receiving an informal letter which “is currently being drafted”. The letter will include recommendations relating to Health and Safety and other issues that are commonplace for encampments such as ours.

At our General Assembly yesterday it was agreed that:

• The Housing working group would reorganise the square in order to free up more space, as currently we are fully occupied.

• The Nightwatch working group have authority and discretion during nights to ensure safety.

• The Media working group would arrange for a Projector to be supplied.

• The Waste, University and Media working groups all asked for volunteers.

• A discussion was had about moving the camp to more renewable energy sources.

• The general assembly at 11am would be primarily logistics. The 7pm general assembly would update on consensus from the 11am session to allow for input and dissent, but primarily focus on political debate.

For all media enquiries please contact: media@occupylfs.org

Monopoly Bike Ride

JOIN US: FRIDAY 28 OCTOBER for a pleasant afternoon cycle around your favourite London destinations from the Monopoly board game. Mixed-in, of course, with a liberal helping of the City’s financial institutions and regulatory bodies – which collectively play games with our financial future.

BRING: A safe bike (with lights if possible). Alternatively, bikes will be available for hire: please email occupylondoninfo@gmail.com in advance so we can gauge numbers.

ASSEMBLE: At St Paul’s Cathedral (near the giant monopoly board!) from 2pm, departing from 3:30pm.

DRESS CODE: Wear a suit with top hat and cane/umbrella

MONOPOLY DESTINATIONS:

Bow Street
Whitechapel Road
Liverpool Street
Kings Cross
Marylebone Station
Whitehall
Fleet Street
Trafalgar Square *
Oxford Circus
Bond Street

http://monopolypubcrawl.org.uk/map/original/#

FINANCIAL DESTINATIONS:

Bank of England
London Stock Exchange
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom
Corporation of the City of London
H.M Treasury
Barclays
Citibank
RBS
Lloyds
HSBC
Merryl Lynch
Bank of America
Goldman Sachs
Bank of New York Mellon
JP Morgan Chase

ROUTE:  The route(s) taken will be dependent on participant numbers and will be decided at random on the day.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE.

* IMPORTANT NOTE:  A memorial service and candle lit vigil will be held on Trafalgar Square to commemorate a man who was murdered on the Square two years ago. The event will take place between 19:30hrs and 21:30hrs. It is expected that 5,000 mourners along with family and friends of the victim will attend. This area should be avoided during this time to allow those grieving to have uninterrupted use of the site on the anniversary of the murder.