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the usual routine. I think carefully about what exactly to wear in order to fit into the group I’m going to be with. Oddly enough I choose pretty much what I’d usually wear. Take my fingerless gloves and my toque and my scarf, though I decide not to wear it. I walk from the school, bag in tow down to the occupy encampment. As I’m walking I decide that they've chosen quite the place, both a center of commerce, a center of law and an upper middle class neighborhood. On approaching I’m struck by the fact that although very little change has happened since the past times I’ve been here there still is some change. It's a very organic camp, the changes I see are mostly other tents absorbed by other larger tents and some new and some broken older tents. From the front there's not a real sense that it's a dirty unorganized place. There bits of trash here and there parts of older signs and some artwork that’s fallen down but it's not as dirty as the media claims. The camp itself looks like a tent city, but it's more likely a picture of what you might expect to find outside of a major American city these days(see the tent city outside LA). People just trying to get by, but in this case it's more of an organized community of individuals, young and old that are trying to change things. Though the sense of organization is more of an organic community the many pictures and slogans all around on every surface give a real element of time. Sitting at the steps of a storied church, one that was once the focal point of London and still remains so very much, they sprawl out on the side of what is a major London tourist attraction. Becoming a tourist attraction in their own right as people come by to enter St. Pauls they often take picture of both the cathedral and the occupy site. So many people wander about in various styles and such that it's hard to determine just who are the occupiers and who are the tourists. Some of the tourists are mistaking me for an activist and some of the activists are mistaking me for a tourist. I'm trying to hold down a curious onlooker perspective. There is a tent for meetings, a tent for general information, a first aid ten which has melded back into the overly structure as I can't quite find it. There are many homemade tents, some very inexpensive tents and quite a number of tents that are much more expensive. The LSX off to the side has been barricaded up so as not to let the protestors in. A mere inconvenience for those that work there, though I did see some suits running through that presumably work in and around there based on their attire. I circle around the camp noticing some signs and various information pasted to nearly every surface of the tent university. One sign says “don't worry we come from the internet.” There are young people out in the front with some signs and Guy Fawkes masks on making various humorous statements about passerby’s, including telling people what to do in case the cops come and take them away for leaning up against the sacred pillars of St Pauls. “They remark that the pillars have a particular sentimental value for the cops, they've never fallen. If the cops do come please step away from the pillars and put your hands up, lie on the ground and do not resist arrest.” I circle back around to the information tent and stroll in, introducing myself to the youngish man wearing 7 layers of clothing and trying to keep warm well informing those who come by. He's wearing a black jacket and a toque, some jeans and looks rather clean for living somewhere with no shower. He's sporting a five o'clock shadow with a tinge of beard and a very wide and welcoming smile. I strike up a simple conversation by asking him 'Tell me about this, tell me about occupy?' He says he's been there for 14 weeks that it's the longest running occupy and that they coping with the cold, thus the 7 layers of clothing. He even said he was two warm last night in his two sleeping bags. People have been stopping by donating blankets and sleeping bags for the people at the camp. They were expecting the cold. The inside of the information tent is lined with banners and shirts sporting slogans and all sorts of information. There is a large Buddhist looking banner behind him with several shirts hanging from hangers that have been written on with markers denoting their will never to give up and the hopes for a better life. To his right are the court documents which he references when talking to me about the appeal to appeal the court ruling that they should be evicted. The documents are the most formal thing about the
There is a middle aged black woman in a green jacket who has a tired look on her face. He also tells me of other movements that are taking place around the world. The room is filled with 10-15 people facing each other in a makeshift circle. But nevertheless there are still some notes in them. They haven't provided a time for the court date on Monday. The newest one being washing the steps with water at 5 or 6 in the morning. At this point I take my leave circling around the tents. In Madrid he lived in the occupy until they were evicted. There are many sites in the world he claims. A great many sites in Britain come down once and a while to use the 'best practices' of this site. These pockets are meant to be mailboxes for those working groups that are around. The pockets are made from a fabric and look barely used and falling apart. He talks about how they've been called domestic terrorists by the government. He says this with great enthusiasm as the man beside me laughs and talks about how clever that really is. according to the practices of feng shui there needs to be an open air space underneath the bank and that is the space which they've occupied. The tranquility one is the security working group though they can't call it security as you need a license to call it security. I ask him if there is anything different from the occupy in Madrid and the one here. I ask him about the eviction and he tells me of the process involved in going about appealing to appeal. I give him a cigarette and move on to the tent university. gestures at the court documents noting that the date should be within the documents but its not. he says that it's much more hierarchical here and it bugs him. A young punk rockish woman with dyed hair and bright green stockings. Through to the next 'room' and there are carpets on the floor in various places a thick black tarp underneath them and a range of old furniture. Made from a collection of tape and some sheets they lack the efficiency of real mail boxes. rounding up all the homeless people and throwing them in camps. (There is a distinct sense of community here)(also the walls that are plastered remind me of facebook as do the mailboxes). He claims that they probably want to evict them before the Olympics begin and I remark that they did the same thing in Vancouver before the Olympics started. He has come to work once a week in London after he saw the occupy he decided to come live here as he supports the cause and has supported the cause in Madrid. Upon entering the tent university I notice a rack of books to my left and right and a nook with a table set up selling the newspaper they print. An older white woman sits . he' just finished eating and asks me for a cigarette. shorter brown hair.whole room as an organic mass of art hangs in corners and streams from the ceilings. Our talk goes on for a while longer as he explains the utility of the mailboxes and the working groups. The tall ginger bearded man next to me jokes about how they'll evict them when there at the court hearings over the appeal. mostly women and a few more men. Going around the circle there are various people. If you sleep there you get wet and if you get wet in this weather there are very few places you can go to get warm and more importantly dry. There are several well groomed people sitting on the bench at the back one man wearing a red rain jacket. and although Boris has written about camping he's yet to come down for a night. I comment on how organized the actual preceding's are and he remarks about the other occupy's that come to see how it's done. including one he heard about from visitors from china. Within the tent we are talking in I notice the boards on the wall with makeshift pockets labeled with various 'working groups'. Sitting next to him is a smallish woman with shorter dark brown hair. The next man I talk to is from Madrid. The man says that they will be headed to the appeal and placarding outside it. a black jacket and jeans on. There rounding up all the homeless in the area of the games and moving them to another district. Thus they refer to the security people as tranquility guards. A large oil painting depicting what looks like protestors hangs along the wall. The site in china is underneath an HSBC bank. The nice man at the info tent offered me tea or coffee to warm up although I would normally jump at the opportunity to consume a caffeinated beverage I feel as though I would be taking from a community I couldn't give back to. He tells me that the same things are going on here. as well as packing the court room with as many people as possible. I ask him if occupy London is the last occupy left and he tells me that it's both the longest running and a source of information on how to organize other occupy sites around Britain. The conversation continues as he tells me of the various methods to remove people from the steps of St Pauls that have been going on. chairs cushions and what looks like a bench against the back wall. he is middle aged between 40 and 50 and has a stern appearance.
There’s talk about music playing and how the safe space policy infringes on other peoples free speech mostly from a young man reading passages from a police handbook. It appears that there are no safe spaces around here by the way the conversation flows and those involved. I thought it was a common law system). (it strikes me that they have there own problems as any community might have this is not alarming to me). These are contentious issues and it seems as though what is going on is a longstanding issue that has had very little positive movement. Several people are taking notes on the precedings and approval for whats being spoken about means putting your hand up and shaking it left to right. She takes the stick and passes it to others as they speak. The assembly is on safe spaces. When she takes the stick she passes a small note book to the ma in the red jacket and he writes a list of those who want to speak. There is either a general assembly or a work group meeting going on. The voting is done by a simple show of hands. petty altercations and other facets of life in an enclosed community with many differing philosophies of public action existing in one place. The cooks do not like this although none are present. The conversation turns towards whats happening at the kitchen late at night and another man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask on his head and sporting a leather punk style jacket tries to preempt the order of those speaking by taking the stick from the man next to him. They then vote for the younger short haired kinder looking woman to take the moderator position. They continue to disagree back and forth on the issues involving the kitchen and whether people had the permission of the general assembly to open the kitchen after 10pm. Unhappy with his moderation style the group votes to have him removed as moderator. Disapproval means shaking your hand downwards back and forth. He claims that the safe space policy keeps him from playing the music that he enjoys that's non-violent.The other people disagree with him vigorously judging by the speedy shaking of hands (although I’m not so sure if they were disagreeing). In the center directly across from the better groomed people are two men one younger one older. The tent university is also plastered in slogans and posters although it seems much more organized than other spaces. There are strong disagreements over the use of the kitchen late at night and temporary agreements made outside of the council to use the kitchen to boil water and other things. Next to them is an older bald man scribbling furiously in a note pad and a further two women on the floor closest to the man in the red jacket. (Overall there is a general sense that it's not like Zuchotti park in new york. She remarks that she is happy to take the job but warns that she has not been at occupy for two days. Next to the three most well groomed at the front is a stick that has occupy carved in it. These complaints are not first approached in such a manner as to resolve them before going to the 'security' or tranquility people.next to them with a smile on her face. no peoples mike and yes a much more hierarchical situation. they talk of assaults. They discuss an assault that happened at the bank of ideas and several other incidents claiming (the women are airing their concerns) that a safe space hasn't been created. It seems as though it could also be a feeling of frustration. It seems as though this stick is being held by each person who speaks and is being used as a tool for moderation. There is a distinct process to the meeting and a hierarchy that consists of the three well groomed people at the very top. He also talks about someone complaining about seeing a rather dodgy Palestinian man walking around camp and having complaints about noise without first speaking to those making the noise. There are two main issues being spoken about those of assaults or uneasiness at the camp and other camps and those of the problems with keeping the kitchen clean and running. .) After leaving the general meeting I took a stroll around the encampment again and went to Starbucks for a coffee and field notes. He also comments that there have been threats made and knives draw and that these complaints according to a section of the police code from the book he has must be dealt with by contacting the authorities. he begins to try and speak about other things well everyone else begins to vocalize they're disapproval. The man at the front who is well groomed and wearing a red rain jacket/snow jacket seems to be a little heavy handed. The moderator gets up and says that he must wait his turn. this violates his constitutional rights (although I was unaware that the brits had a constitution. his stern look and his displeasure at what is going in the camp is easily seen. After a minuet of protest he gives the stick back to the moderator and the discussion goes on with the agreement the conversation will return to him after the next speaker.
She replied by telling me that although it looked structured not many people were involved in that aspect. The protestors don't plan to resist as that would be a loss of good PR. They had melted away to the point of which those who were interested in that part stayed on and the rest . I asked the taller man wearing a bright yellow reflective security jacket and a Guy Fawkes mask to tell me about anonymous and he blatantly said no. “if it had been they'd known to bring in toilets and wouldn't have had a giant wish list of things for people to bring down. Because it's a tourist sit e they said they would rather come when there weren’t so many tourists about with cameras. as the church at one point had supported them.” At this point I started to ask the girl about the organizational structure of the camp. Continuing on in the conversation we talked about how the occupy camp would react to the eviction. I asked how long he'd been here and he replied 14 weeks. It seemed a bit suspicious to the older gentleman. While this was going on they were using a blue netbook and a small black guitar speaker to play some recorded footage from rallies that had happened at the site. To which she replied to as very surprised to hear me say this. We began talking about what they've done and the good points. it could and still is. being looked at as a win. They had gone off to protest Scientology after being sent a non-uk email about a protest scheduled to go on there. It was clear that I would have to develop a rapport with this individual in order to speak to him further. 3:00 PM Once again into the camp and this time I went to two people standing near the front to talk about anonymous. what would happen is that they would decide when they had the “operational strength” to evict and then they'd come. I asked her if she was involved in the general meetings. I also said that I really support what anon is doing and what they're standing for.” They would have been much better prepared. The young woman with the blue eyes told me that it would happen again and they'd be back and that for most people it would turn out ok. I'm looking forward to going home. This time I was told that they'd be back and that I could talk to them. I have a nice home. The blue eyed girl with the black hoodie. By being anonymous they also allow other people to do things and claim credit for that may not be under the best intentions of the group. it would be silly if they did. We talked about the possible eviction which he said was going to happen. I remarked that it seemed really organized here. She said that it wasn't nearly as organized. The man says that it's not so much of a problem because within anonymous there are various groups doing various things for any number of reasons.2:15 PM It seems to be a bit of a warm up place and a meeting place for various occupy folks. There is a steady stream in and out and one particular set of couches closest to the window seem in someways to be a natural extension of the occupy camp. told me about how there are many anonymous groups and that they are able to circumvent those things. The man replied “i'd be glad to go home. young looking. the problem that I see with anon is that it could be used as a government front as it is anonymous and no one knows who anon is. I asked again about what the anonymous folk are doing around the park. To this the answer was that they would never tell them when they would come. They've done what they came for. he was concerned about a plot from Scientology as they had been complaining for some time that occupy was there to attack the church just as they had been attacked by anonymous. showed that it's possible and if they resisted it would be foolish. The man thought this was ridiculous. To this I got a response. mentioning the recent FBI phone taps and the information dumps about the Haditha massacre. The man and woman agreed that they'd come when there were no cameras and no press coverage. So I said what do you think about this. telling her that it seemed very hierarchical and commenting on how structured it was. “No doubt in my mind that we will lose the appeal”. who comes around the occupy quite often. I asked if they'd come at night or if they had posted a time when the police would come. The taller man talked of how if they did it right. It would taint the success of the movement. probably at night.
she was saying that it didn't matter if they got arrested. Her friend was rather upbeat about the whole thing. 4:45 Notes: – At three in the tent university there were lots of people singing. possibly watch the eviction – Might give me a better idea of how they feel/felt about the occupation . They kind of rolled their eyes at me. I suppose there was a feeling of being an outsider. – Went back on Friday (6:45/7:00 PM) to try and catch a general assembly but everyone was at a new opening of the school of ideas in another part of town – Should try and go on Monday and see if I can talk to some of the protestors about the court decision at the High Courts of Justice – Possibly if it's safe it would be great to get some reaction after they are evicted.went about the work they could help out with. I asked some folks that I purchased an occupy paper from about the paper which is developed in house. Two other women came up one who had written a play. I mentioned I was from Canada and I' a student down the street. I asked the actor about what she thought about the occupy demo and she said she had been out of the country since it started and that it was good that people were out and doing their thing. possibly play the part of David Cameron. getting there message out although she was unsure of what the message was. (it seemed like there may be a fear that someone would co-opt what they were doing with occupy) The man in the security jacket was talking about being evicted and claimed that it didn't really matter (I got the feeling that he wasn't really excited about me talking to him). and get released in time to get back and eat. I claimed that I was to unsure of myself in speaking in public and they were pressuring me to take at least one of the roles. while being involved in this play that was supposed to represent the movement. Talking about the young anon guys. it would be better if protestors were in the play. The play itself was to be read on the steps of St Pauls. When I told them my name was Cameron I think they thought that I may have given them a fake name. on it's 10th edition. no comment. no comment. They wanted to see if I could be in the play. The play was written about occupy and was about the variety of messages in the play although I couldn't get her to talk at length about the play. It was a really interesting comment because you do get a bit of this philosophy a bit of that philosophy a bit of everything from everyone.” The older guy chimed in noting that anon didn't really involve themselves in the day to day activity. I also didn't want to take up her time as she was looking for other actors. Overall she didn't seem to be prepared to deal with the question looking down and looking rather embarrassed about the question. all written by protestors and printed through a general fund.” “being around occupy is like the movie Waking Life” “everyone's hurrying around and you get these bits of philosophies” to which I replied I had seen the movie and that was a really amazing comment. She cited this as one of the downsides of what they were doing. They started to talk about other occupations including the music festival Glastonberry that had to be canceled the 13th year so as to keep it from becoming a public festival and this caused fees to go up and the corporatization of the festival. They seemed excited to put the play on. In the end I told them that if I was around I would read some lines (knowing full well I wouldn't be around to do so). The most important thing she said was commenting that began with asking me “have you ever seen the movie Waking Life. Again repeating if I wanted to talk to them they’d be back. In the end they'd say “no comment. I decided that I didn't really want to be in such a play. And followed this by remarking that I was just by to collect some information for a project I was doing. She told me that a lot of people who live down here or stay around do a lot of DIY work and put a lot of effort in to helping it but they wouldn't dare involve themselves with the running of the camp.
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