On Thursday 30 June, hundreds of thousands of us will be out on the streets striking and supporting the strikes. We’re withdrawing our labour because we’re outraged at being expected to suffer the consequences of an economic crisis caused by selfish bankers and unaccountable corporations. Our public services, jobs, pensions and whole future are under attack by politicians whose programme none of us voted for.
Inspired by movements currently unfolding across the world – Spain, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East and beyond – we’re responding with PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLIES to support those on strike and build a massive grassroots movement reaching beyond national boundaries and single days of industrial action. People’s Assemblies have no leaders, so every voice counts, ensuring equality for all. Occupying streets and city squares is a natural expression of our power: real democracy now.
11am, Lincoln Inn Fields: Join the J30 Strikers’ Assembly Bloc on the trade union march.
Then come to the Strikers’ Assembly congregating near Westminster Central Hall. Find us under the “People’s Assembly” banner.A siren will announce the opening of the event!
Real Democracy Now!
Important information on the assembly:
The Assembly’s Teams were defined as follows:
SPEECH/REPLY TURN GIVERS TEAM
1. To identify themselves clearly (for example, with a cardboard piece hanging from the neck that reads something like ‘Want to take part? Please, ask me to put your turn down in the list’)
2. To note down participants’ speaking turns
3. To ensure participants’ interventions are not off-topic
4. To liaise with the Turn Givers’ team coordinator (who in turn will liaise with facilitator)
1. To draw a ‘Situation map’ on the floor in order to organize the assembly’s space and to create paths for participants to walk in and out of it
2. To run the PA system and the siren
3. To make arrangements for disabled people (seats and paths for physically disabled people, support for people with visual and auditive impairment)
4. To provide with information about nearest toilets and places to get water and provisions,
5. To ensure banner is visible
6. To draw visual map (assembly’s themes on blackboard)
1. To introduce the event
2. To inform about: aims of collective thinking, what is an assembly, what the sign language is, and which are the different teams,
3. To moderate differences among participant’s opinions without positioning herself,
4. To summarize each intervention if needed,
5. To inform of each round of intervention’s positions,
6. To read back to assembly consensus reached.
Nominated moderators: Amx Waters, Camilla, Mark, Mark Barrett, Virginia Lopez Calvo FACILITATORS
1. To assist the moderator. Facilitators are the only ones who communicate with the moderator to ensure her impartiality and that no participant in the assembly approaches her to influence her. All team’s delegates and coordinators liaise with facilitators and not with moderators.
MINUTES’ TAKERS TEAM
1. To write down participants’ interventions as well as assembly’s consensus and decisions
1. To inform participants of assembly’s rules (on a one to one level)
2. To ask for silence when the discussion becomes too heated
The volunteers of each team will be responsible for coordinating the tasks assigned to them. Each team is also responsible for finding a way of clearly identifying themselves (for instance with an arm band of certain colour with the team’s name written on it). It is discouraged to use T-shirts that express any type of affiliations (including ‘Real Democracy Now’) See volunteers for each team below (*)
The AIMS OF COLLECTIVE THINKING were defined as follows:
1. Collective thinking is a long-term process, it takes more than one assembly meeting
2. The goal is not defending one’s position but to find common ground in order TO BUILD TOGETHER, NOT TO WIN.
3. The ultimate purpose is the TRANSFORMATION of the individual.
An ASSEMBLY was defined as follows: It is a participative decision-making body IN SEARCH OF CONSENSUS. Best arguments are searched to make a decision based on different opinion’s common ground instead of searching for opposed positioning. The FOCUS IS NOT ON IDEOLOGICAL DISCOURSE but on PRACTICAL MATTERS (What do we need? How do we get it?) Assemblys are categorized according to their purpose: information, reflection or decision-making.
The following ASSEMBLY BASIC RULES were agreed:
1. Drinking or drugs-consumption are not allowed. Intoxicated participants won’t be allowed to get on the microphone.
2. Speaking turns must be respected and interrupting others is not allowed.
3. Abusive language (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc) won’t be tolerated; all opinions must be respected.
4. The average intervention time will be limited to 2 minutes (on average). This time limit will be progressively reduced for those participants speaking a second, third or further times. This rule applies only if the Striker’s Assembly does not overrule it with a different decision on the day.
5. Direct answers (replica) are not allowed.
The ASSEMBLY’S THEMES will be the following (interventions not within these themes will be considered off-topic):
1. Why do unionized workers participate in an Assembly rather than listening to a trade union’s speech? In a nutshell, why do strikers choose an assembly as a method?
2. Venting anger: what brought us here today?
3. Specific actions’ proposals.
To help assembly’s participants to stay within topic it was suggested that a VISUAL MAP of these themes is drawn on a blackboard so that participants have a constant reference. The following SIGN LANGUAGE was agreed:
1. Shaking hands upwards for agreement/applause
2. Shaking hands downwards for disagreement
3. Usual circling sign with both hands to ask the participant to ‘move on’
It was agreed to keep the language as simple as possible and to only add a fourth sign (the blockage sign) for the 3rd thematic block of the assembly, assembly dynamics allowing.
The MEETING TIME AND POINT of the team of volunteers for this assembly will be at 12.30pm on the raised triangle of grass at the south end of Victoria Street, on the corner between Central Hall Westminster and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre. If you stand ten yards outside the front entrance of (Methodist) Central Hall Westminster, you’re already there (immediately opposite main entrance to Westminster Abbey). Look for a black-white-and-red banner (‘Peoples’ Assembly’).