Monday: Back to camp. We now have four portaloos, two more than when I left.
Tuesday: St Paul’s has decided not to take legal action to remove us! I’m not entirely sure whether that decision was taken on the basis of actual compassion and solidarity with the cause, or as a PR exercise aimed at restoring the slightly tarnished image of the Church. Either way, it’s better to have them wi’ us than agin’ us. Especially as they appear to have influenced the City of London; the City, widely reported to be about to issue us with eviction notices, has ‘pressed pause’ and asked to be taken to our leaders. Well, actually, they’ve asked to begin negotiations with a liaison group from OccupyLSX. They want us to negotiate on their turf, the Guildhall. Shall we enter the dragon’s lair and risk the silken worm-tongues within?
That’ll be a decision for General Assembly to make.
Wednesday: We weren’t all entirely happy with it but decided to give the City the benefit of the doubt and sent a delegation along to listen to what they had to say.
This: if we promise to leave before the turn of the year and to ‘scale back’ the camp between now and then, the City of London Corporation will pull back the legal attack dogs and let us be.
Do we want to agree?
That’ll be a decision for General Assembly to make. Consensus could be particularly difficult to achieve on this.
Thursday: There’s a fantastic programme of lectures, talks and workshops at TCU (Tent City University). Today I listened to Dr Rupert Read, philosopher of economics, talking about the impossibility of perpetual growth. Even ‘green growth’ is to be treated with suspicion, he argued. Investment in renewables – yes, he said. But any growth in green industries needs to be balanced by the opposite of growth elsewhere, so that total production is reduced. This, says Dr Read, is the only way we’re going to save the planet. He suggests rationing (certainly carbon rationing, potentially goods/food rationing too) and putting trust in well-run credit unions rather than banks. He had me convinced.
It rained, harder and longer than seemed natural or feasible, in the night. I woke up in a puddle, sleeping bag soaked, with more than a sniffle.
Friday: While we’re happy to be inclusive, to feed and shelter as many as can fit into this hotly contested piece of pavement, the camp is now attracting people who need more care than we can provide. So we’ve sent out a call for welfare workers and counsellors and people with experience in mental health, addiction, homeless issues. Already a contingent from Sheffield – health workers fresh from refugee camps and festival sites – have assessed the camp. Apparently we’ve a far healthier environment than the campers at Glastonbury manage with (and they pay almost £200 per weekend for it)…
There are still many practical issues to be addressed, not least ‘greening’ the camp by getting solar-power, pedal-power and camp-wide LED lighting sorted. De-dum, de-dum, de-dum, DE-DUM… LEDfantastic to the rescue!
Saturday & Sunday: Slightly more exhausted than exhilarated this weekend. But hey, who said revolution would be comfortable (or dry)? A quick flit back to base to do some work, meet family and friends around a campfire on November 5, wash clothes, enjoy a deep bath and catch up on sleep. Then back to camp…