‘Occupy’ protests reach Brighton
Thousands of groups have sprung up in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protest, supporting it and discussing what many protesters see as the failure of the capitalist system.
Activists in Brighton have attempted to create an alternative space in which to address many of the issues that they argue the government simply does not concern itself with.
For the Occupy Brighton camp, located in the Victoria Gardens in Grand Parade, this involves mainly education and community outreach.
The group provides talks and workshops, and is aiming to be able to provide NVQs in subjects such as sociology to get people back into education.
The workshops include children’s activities on a Sunday, as well as meditation classes and talks on ‘positive money’.
A general assembly is held at 7pm every evening in the campsite to identify problems and long term objectives, as well as to discuss
any issues that may have arisen within the camp.
This is open to the public and operates using direct democracy and consensus building, rather than majority rules. Hand signals are used to ensure that everyone who wants to speak can and so less confident speakers are not excluded from the process.
This guarantees that everyone gets a say in how they wish things to be run within the camp and no decision is implemented until everyone in the group agrees to it.
Ben, an Occupy Brighton camper, said that the camp was there to create “fairness and democracy” and that the camp had the support of many local businessmen as well as the Green MP Caroline Lucas. Lucas, who visited the camp, claimed it was “real politics in action”.
More information about the camp can be found at occupybrighton.co.uk.