occupytotnes

The communication channel of Occupy Totnes community

Exeter Occupation: Living Statement 23/11/11

Exeter Occupation: Living Statement 23/11/11
This is a work in progress, and will evolve as our understanding evolves

Who we are
We are a diverse group of individuals who live or work in and near Exeter. We include people of all ages and gender, regardless of race creed colour or lifestyle. Some of us have elected to erect tents and occupy the Cathedral Green, and many others support us in numerous other ways. Our movement includes those of all political parties and those who choose to have none. We include people from all faiths and those who have none.
We aspire to include everyone.

Why we’re here
We are here to bring about genuine  change in society, especially in the field of economics and finance. We strive to educate and raise the awareness of the people pertaining to the current austerity measures in the UK and around the world. We want to help people realise that while we are suffering from the cuts in jobs and services resulting from these austerity measures  our politicians and political establishments remain in the pocket of the wealthiest 1%, rather than acting in the  best interests of the 99%.

Between 1999 and 2009 the salaries of the wealthy 10% have risen by 37%, compared to the poorest 10% whose average salaries have fallen by 12%[1]. This exposes a grossly unjust and unequal system that necessitates change. We live with a system in which the few have an exceedingly disproportionate quantity of wealth and riches, whilst the majority all across the world – the poorest in society – live without the basic needs of life. Many make do with inferior basic needs ie food, water, shelter etc. This is no longer acceptable. We stand in solidarity with Occupations around the world (currently over 1000).

What we’re working for
As a movement we strive to achieve a world in which the disparity between the richest and poorest is reduced and the world is rid of poverty, starvation and the deprivation of the most basic needs of  life. To put it simply, we yearn for social and economic justice and genuine democracy.
We do not claim to have all the answers in how to achieve this goal, however, through widening the debate and encouraging others to get involved, we believe together we can formulate a solution for a more fair and equal society.  Through our ever increasing community we continue to reach out to the wider public concerning the issues of the inequality, corruption and continual dishonesty we face in this world, and have encouraged people to come up with their own solutions that can be put forward into our democratic forum.

How We Work
There is no leader. Weekdays at 6pm and weekends at 2pm a General Assembly is held in which anyone is welcome to participate, whether or not they are active members of the Occupy movement and whether or  not  they support it. Everyone participating may propose a motion. Through this the progress of the movement is based on consensual agreement. We believe this is true democracy in practice and is a platform for all views to be heard and discussed.

Our Relationship with the Cathedral
Although Cathedral authorities have not officially authorised our presence we have felt welcomed into this space by many Anglicans, including the acting Dean. Our issue is not with the church or religion and we do not wish to alienate members of any faith as they too are part of the under-represented 99%. We have chosen to occupy the Cathedral Green because it is central to the city and highly visible to the general public.

http://occupyexeter.wordpress.com/  Search for Occupy Exeter on facebook and twitter

[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/07/one-per-cent-wealth-destroyers – George Monbiot 7/11/11

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