Friday, 16 November 2012

Occupy Bath to Return this Weekend

One year on, Occupy Bath is coming back for one weekend. One year later, we are still facing the same problems - and some new ones. The banks are still out of control and are largely unregulated. Unemployment is still rampant. Tuition fees have increased. Huge corporations such as Vodafone and Starbucks are still not paying their taxes. The cost of living is going up, but wages are staying the same. The NHS is effectively being privatised.

The 99% are not being prioritised. Corporations and extremely wealthy individuals are still raking in the cash, at the expense of us little people. Our democracy is still a shambles, highlighted by the overwhelming public opposition AND a majority in the House of Commons to a badger cull that is still planned to go ahead next year.

One year on, Occupy Bath is still campaigning for financial equality and a fairer and more democratic society. Since packing up camp last year, Occupy Bath founded the Bath People's Assembly, which is still going today (and put on the Visions for Change event back in April), and has undertaken several actions, including a Move Your Money campaign and offering free hot food in the centre of Bath. Many occupiers have also become involved in other activist and campaign groups. Elsewhere, the Occupy Movement is still alive and well, most signficantly in America, where occupiers are distributing food and aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, and in London, where many meetings, discussions and actions have taken place over the last year.

While a weekend camp won't change the world, it will provide a platform for people to discuss the issues affecting us and to voice the views to people who will listen. Amongst these discussions, time will be devoted to looking at how Occupy Bath can move forward. There will also be an action on Saturday afternoon, to be decided upon on Friday night. Plus, since the end of the camps, the Occupy Movement has been largely out of the eye of the media. This camp, which will not outstay its welcome, hopes to bring these issues under the spotlight once more and look for solutions.

The schedule for the weekend:
6pm - Meet at Green Park Station. We will then move to the occupation site and set up camp. Please bring some food.
8pm - General Assembly - the main focus will be Saturday's action

12-2pm - Talks and discussions
2-3pm - ACTION (To be confirmed - we have some ideas, but someone may have a better one)
3-4pm - Speaker's Corner - an idea that has been kicking around for some time - we thought we'd give it a go!
5-6pm - Community Meal - please bring a vegetable (or two!) for the pot, and a plate if you can. All welcome! Veggie/vegan friendly food!
8pm - General Assembly - the main focus will be where Occupy Bath can go from here
9pm - Jam session - bring an instrument if you have one, if not just bring yourselves and enjoy!

Things to bring:
Sleeping bag/blankets
Some food
Waterproofs (just in case)
 The press release regarding the camp:

"From Friday November 16th until Sunday November 18th, Occupy Bath will be re-occupying in the city. The Occupy Movement worldwide may have been out of the media lately, but the issues which brought it about are as urgent as ever. The current coalition government are slashing social and public services, left right and centre. From education to housing, from unemployment to healthcare, policies are being enacted which will have a profound and long-lasting impact on our city, our country, and our planet. Occupy Bath, as was the case when we occupied Queen’s Square last year, seek to create a platform for protesting these policies, and for having an open discussion about what direction our society should take.

We are re-occupying, a year since we last occupied, as we believe it is important that these issues remain front and centre in the public consciousness, and to remind the people of Bath that, whilst we may not be occupying constantly, we are still very active in the form of the Bath People’s Assembly"

Standing Stone's Blog will be reporting on the events of the weekend.

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