Minutes from the meeting on the 03/12/2010

Minutes from the occupation meeting.

Friday the third of December. Five pm.

The Agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1)      Volunteers for committee places.

2)      Vote on action:

A)     Wednesday’s action.

B)      Thursday’s action in Manchester.

C)      Thursday’s action in London.

D)     Action after Thursday.

3)      Feedback.

1) Volunteers for committee places.

The following positions were appointed:

The Media representative:

  • It was mentioned that she should talk to the BBC and Northern Indy Media.

The Security representative:

  • He will converse with security in the Roscoe building and ensure we are not disrupting lectures.

The university liaison representative:

  • It was mentioned that there has been no structured liaising with university of management as of yet and that this should be addressed.
  • Regarding specific academic departments: Sociology, Law, and History have already issued their support.
  • English and American History are currently working on their support.

The University and College union representative,

The trade union representative.

Issues raised regarding committee places.

  • The school and college liaison is in contact with schools but expressed the need for support from others.
  • The banner making representative is working with the above to run a poster/banner making session in schools and is running a poster making session with the arts society that will have activity points in the students union, the library and the occupation. It will be a visual protest to show support for the movement.
  • The Medic liaison calls for support from medically trained people and proposes a workshop on Thursday.
  • The outreach representative, responsible for advertising, flyers and communication stresses the Need for more people to talk and converse to spread a clear message for what is going on and to make it known that we exist – calls for people to help.
  • The legal representative stated there will be legal observer and arrest support training from 6-7pm in Roscoe, theatre B.
  • The food representative called for a shopping list.

The names of committee representatives cannot be disclosed but are available for reference in the occupation.

3)

Votes on action for next week:

A)     Wednesday.

Out of 4 proposals:

  • Rally at Roscoe, Pick up Manchester Metropolitan and Salford University students and then march to Piccadilly gardens for a demonstration and the chance to publicise the movement.
  • Rally at Roscoe, Pick up Manchester Metropolitan and Salford University students and then march to the Wheel to cause disruption.
  • Rally at Roscoe, Pick up Manchester Metropolitan and Salford University students and then march to the town hall.
  • To leave this vote until Monday.

The first proposal was chosen.

(Although there is a vote on the cuts to the NSSN on Wednesday in the town hall, the floor decided that we should not target labour voters and although the Wheel is an iconic symbol of Manchester, there are never many people on it).

It was decided that Piccadilly Gardens will be busy due to Christmas shopping, is a central part of Manchester, a new place to demonstrate, will provide a chance to meet up with trade union members and workers on their lunch break and will be an ideal space for an exciting and active environment for the demonstration.

The plan:

  • Assemble outside University place at 11:30,
  • Begin the march at 12:00,
  • Pick up students from Manchester Metropolitan and Salford University on the way,
  • Arrive at Piccadilly Gardens at 13:00 to demonstrate, publicise the movement, engage with workers on their lunch break and make our voices heard.

B)      Thursday’s action in Manchester.

Out of five proposals:

  • Hold a candle lit vigil at 5pm.
  • Promote mass disruption
  • Head to Cheadle to lobby the offices of Mark Hunter and/or George Osbourne.
  • Plan nothing.

The second proposal was chosen*.

(Although it was proposed that because the main action in London would detract attention from Manchester and that a local day of action was already planned for Wednesday – so a peaceful vigil would be an alternative solution, and despite the possibility of lobbying Mark Hunter and/or George Osbourne’s (unoccupied) offices, causing mass disruption was the most popular option)

It was decided that, because many college students, and others, will not be able to make it to the London demonstration that it was still important to provide support for the movement in Manchester. This way the anger will be recognised as nation-wide and those unable to make it to London will have the ability to draw workers out of their workplace and the public out of their homes.

*It was noted that although the majority favoured mass disruption in the centre of Manchester, of course lobbying lobbying Mark Hunter and/or George Osbourne’s offices will be publically recognised. Those who would like to should meet and take the X57 bus to Cheadle.

After the demonstration in Manchester the politics department have arranged an afternoon and evening of lectures, activities and a live stream of the debate in the house of commons, London.

C)      Thursday’s action in London.

Out of two proposals:

  • Give priority to college students for coach tickets.
  • Leave the question of priority open.

No decision was made.

The information established is as follows:

On Wednesday:

  • Two twelve seat minibuses will leave Manchester on Wednesday at 18:00 in order to stay at the LSE occupation overnight, to Lobby both their home MP’s and Withington, Manchester’s MP – John Leech and to join the march on Thursday.

On Thursday:

  • So far, we have £1,400 pounds funding from the union. That will be spent on two coaches, meaning there are 98 places available to get down to London, so far.
  • The first 100 tickets will be subsidized and sold at £10 each. After that, if we get more funding, tickets will be sold at £24. All tickets include both travel to, and from, London.
  • Coaches will leave at 6:30 to arrive, at the latest, at 12:00. The coaches will leave London to return to Manchester at 20:00.
  • Tickets can be bought from Manchester University’s students union.
  • If people can pay the full £24 then they should, leaving the subsidized tickets for those who can’t afford the full price.

Other Information:

  • Car sharing is encouraged. Students should contact their lecturers and friends to arrange this.
  • Hitchhiking is encouraged. If you set off on Wednesday you will easily make it in time.
  • There is one Megabus in the morning from Manchester heading down to London.

D)     Action after Thursday.

The following proposals were made:

  • After Thursdays demonstration, the movement should be directed more widely at government cuts in general, not just at education cuts.
  • Delegates should be sent to London in January for a conference that will discuss the next steps.
  • An organisational meeting should be held in December to decide on the future of the occupation.

All proposals were passed.

It was then decided that the meeting to decide the future of the occupation will be held in Roscoe, theatre B on Friday, and a statement has been written regarding the national delegate conference in London in January. It was suggested that the movement might become more organic after the immediate focus of Thursdays march has happened and that after the Christmas holidays participators may feel refreshed.

3)Feedback.

  • Will doors be open over the weekend?
    • If not how will we get food in?
    • Point made of doing so during change of security guard shift every two hours.
    • A rotor has been made to keep people manning the doors in order to ensure access.
    • Clarity of message:
      • Some posters may deter the public, this has been addressed by our banner and poster making representatives, but it was suggested that some of our propaganda makes the occupation too exclusive and/or political.
      • Awareness of our presence:
        • Many people don’t know that we are here.
        • We need more shout outs in lectures, flyposters and door knockers around the university, Fallowfield, the city, the north campus and Sackville street.
        • If people don’t know that we’re here then we can’t get funding.
        • We need more people to help with flyering, manning the stall and talking to people on the streets.
        • Flyer at the north campus and Market street.
        • Need to connect more with the trade unions.
        • Suggestions made to do more outlandish acts – making our disruption more known, nudity, train stations and motorways.
        • We should be using the ‘X’ image we have already created to get people to use as their facebook profile pictures.
        • People should change their facebook statuses to publicise the occupation and update them regularly in order to keep the occupation always on peoples news feed.
        • We should be putting posters up in other rooms.
        • It was voted not to try and occupy any other buildings.
        • We should be asking other societies to help us out.
        • Funding:
          • Look within the university, towards lecturers and students, by getting outside and asking for donations.
          • If people don’t know that we’re here then we can’t get funding.
          • We need more than two coaches.
          • We should get enough funding to subsidize coaches for college students who may not be able to afford to get to London.
          • We should be asking Trade Unions, going into their branches and asking personally.
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