New Internationalist

Occupy London, one week on

2011-10-21-occupylondon320wide.jpg [Related Image]

Saturday will mark a week since OccupyLondon claimed its space at the feet of St Paul’s Cathedral. It has been a difficult but utterly uplifting experience for all.

People are gravitating to the camp constantly, drawn by what is really still an idea taking shape, but an idea that is already inspiring.

OccupyLSX SignThe camp is determined and committed to channelling peoples voices through general assembly and consensus. The aims of the London assembly and others around the world are cut from the same cloth.  We all want to challenge the fundamental assumptions that underlie the world’s political and financial systems, which are failing us at all levels.

It’s an easy criticism to make that the assembly ‘offers no solutions’. Of course not, not yet. But the process of building a movement that asks the right questions, and considers that another world is possible, has begun. The systems of general assembly and consensus can be painstaking but they do mean that all those people involved have their voices heard.

The camp came up with their first statement in 48 hours. It’s now only six days in. I would suggest that if this process of forming a concrete vision of a fairer, safer more just world is anything as erudite as the way the London camp has organised itself, then we are in for something of great value. Perhaps an idea whose time has come.

On Saturday 22 October at 1pm in London, the general assembly is geared up to receive a swell of visitors, as many who work are inspired by the camp and plan to come and visit and see what it’s all about. It will be an important test for the assembly facilitators, to hold the camp together as more voices enter the equation.

If you plan to visit, I have no doubt that you will find the camp to be, at the very least, a source of hope. At best, you may find yourself deciding that you belong here, and the next thing you know, you’ll be collecting a sleeping bag and joining a working group. See you soon.

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About the author

Jamie Kelsey-Fry is our roving awareness raiser and author of the ground-breaking school text book, that enables young people to make the journey from political literacy to political agency: Rax Active Citizenship Toolkit

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