The Occupy Bath camp in Queen’s Square is currently undergoing some changes, they are moving the camp from its original position to a new one within the square.
The reason for doing so is to cause minimum damage to the grass roots in the ground; if the camp remains in the same place for much longer the grass will not grow back and will need reseeding or turfing to restore it. Therefore this move is essential for the square, as there is no wish to cause damage to it and the group do want others to continue enjoying it.
The members said: “These are only early days for the Occupy Movement. We disagree that austerity is affecting everyone equally. There are better solutions to this crisis we all face, but first we need to be able to discuss and formulate a way forward for the benefit of the majority, not a minority.“
A frequent visitor to the camp and local resident, who does not camp in Queen’s Square and does not wish to be named, sent us the following:
“As I understand it, all decisions concerning the camp are made in the daily meetings that they hold every evening. They have made it clear that anyone is invited, and I take this to mean that this includes people from the council and all members of the public, not just those that are camping there. I have been to several meetings in the past and have always been welcomed and given the chance to put forward my views on the camp. I expect that the move was decided in these meetings, to which all residents of Bath have have been given the opportunity to attend and play a role in deciding if this was the right idea. As a local resident I am pleased to see that they are being democratic and responsible.”
Elsewhere, the first Bath People’s Assembly was held on Friday at the Friends’ Meeting house.
The assembly was said to be well attended by around 50 people of all ages and walks of life. Inspired by the Occupy Movement, the assembly used consensus based decision making, a form of direct democracy which encourages participation from all, to facilitate discussion.
Over the course of the hour and a half long assembly, topics ranging from local housing to government cuts and the war in Afghanistan were discussed. At the conclusion of the meeting, several working groups were set up and the date for the next Bath Peoples Assembly was set as Thursday 15th December.
The Bath People’s Assembly’s Statement of Intent is as follows:
“The People’s Assembly is an independent democratic non-affiliated body for discussion, debate and the formulation of ideas and proposals on local, national and global issues and policies.”
Its purpose is to give all people of Bath a stronger democratic voice. It invites people of all ages, genders, abilities, races, and religions to come and work together to put democracy into action.“