The communication channel of Occupy Totnes community

Minutes of First informal meeting of Occupy Totnes on 18/11/11






We started the meeting with only a few people present.


Where is to be occupied? A list of possible locations:


Dartington Hall,

the Civic Hall

Castle Grounds,

Follaton House,

the church yard,

the quarry,

Leech well garden,

Or an empty building


Should we support occupations in Exeter or Plymouth rather than holding one in Totnes?


Global movement – Brief discussion on other occupations. Have they been a success?


The dangers of alienating local people

Building good relations with the police

The occupation movement as a new global phenomenon was emphasised.

We want to support the international democratic movement, with education about the economics and politics of the situation, and to reach a consensus where possible.

We want to support local occupations in Exeter and Plymouth.


New arrivals to the meeting (from the opposite side of the bar!)


Pete said we are all here because we all feel strongly and we introduced ourselves and everyone shared what had brought them to the meeting. This was what was shared:


-we want local action to not be antagonistic to local people

-to provide practical support for other protests

-to draw inspiration from all over the world and show solidarity

-we want to take political actions and initiatives – a waking up – an uprising!

-local control of our facilities civic hall etc

-we want to make a connection with the wider ecological context

-we want to improve life in Totnes for everybody not just for traders and businesses

-occupy the river bank,

-to look at other options for making change

-the role of rural movements

-education and dialogue

-people are interested to see how the movement will develop

-winning arguments is not enough now- we know we are right 🙂 and now we need to take action

-lifestyle changes to engender wider community change- i.e. living without the 1% richer

-using the peoples assembly as a community meeting space

-anger at political injustice

-wider issues of bringing the community together

-how can our political movement share resources?


What to do?

More meetings, do we want to use the civic hall as a venue for them?

Fruition -we can make our weekly sessions into workshops, and have occupy events-? Showing solidarity with global movements internationally, we wish to make a demonstration to support these.

Join the occupy facebook page to share discussion and opinion


Do we want to have an occupation of our own? Possible sites were considered:


The Civic Hall is a local community facility and is administered by South Hams District Council. People would love to see it hosting more community events and classes. Local action and community engagement. A TOP CIVIC petition was passed round in support of this.

BUT we must not cause hardship to market traders as the markets in this town are very important. An occupation of the Civic Hall could cause an ‘obstruction’. Our in-house solicitor advised good relations with the police.


We discussed whether it should be called Occupy Totnes or Totnes & Dartington?

a bigger objective – Dartington Trust has a poor record of social engagement.


Dartington is symbolic. But it is too out of the way and could take focus and responsibility away from Totnes and Totnesians

Dartington Trust could do much more for the local area- but have recently lost £600, 000 in Arts Funding due to the re-siting of Dartington College of Art in Truro.


We could be mobile and move our occupation, eg. above Lloyds bank, other empty spaces.


We need homes- should an occupation consider this very local need and issue?


Or we could occupy land, not property, as it gives greater security to occupy


We can promote joining credit unions up and provide more info on banking

Personal commitment from occupiers needs to be ‘hardcore’,

‘Just do it’ group offers support




We are looking for a projector for Live streaming, Skype, with other occupations


General mood:


We are not ready for action, but keen for a general assembly, we will see general assembly rules on consensus decision making- we will invite Plymouth and Exeter occupiers to our meeting


A call out for practical assistance for Exeter- car going up with supplies


What materials can we generate for our meeting? Paper, projectors,


Other ideas: Buckfastleigh incinerator occupation


Next meeting-

2pm next week at the Civic Hall, Totnes at 2pm

Bring yourself, bring your friends, bring ideas, bring writing materials!!

See you there


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