Occupy Wellington Looks to the Future: “It’s not just about the tents”

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the enormous support you’ve shown since Occupy Wellington began on October 15th.

After two months of camping in Civic Square, we’re extremely excited to announce Occupy Wellington’s vision for the next phase of the movement.

The Civic Square camp has provided an incredibly successful vehicle to open public discussion about economic inequality. But the global Occupy movement is about much more than a collection of tents. The next phase is about moving forward to more effectively engage with the enormous support shown in the wider community from a more sustainable indoor base.

The camp was never intended to be permanent. Because so many supporters of Occupy Wellington have jobs and other commitments, we’re focusing on activities that allow the participation of people who are not able to physically camp.

Although Occupy Wellington is no longer based in Civic Square, clearly some individuals may continue to exercise their right to remain there.  

Recognising the limitations of a temporary camp has led to in-depth discussion about the best way of moving forward. Similar discussions are taking place in Occupy sites all over the world. Occupy supporters in New Zealand are participating in international web-based conferences, to collaboratively develop a collective global vision for the future of the Occupy movement, dubbed “Occupy 2.0”.

This means some big changes locally, in the transition to the next phase.

Plans are underway to start a ‘Bank of Ideas’ in central Wellington, modeled on the Occupy London initiative of the same name. The Bank of Ideas will promote the non-monetary trade of ideas to help solve pressing economic, social and environmental problems, and encourage transformative change towards a system that works for all.

The Bank of Ideas will provide a space for the collaboration of like-minded individuals and groups in Wellington working on different facets of the same basic problem, including environmental groups, unions and other workers’ rights groups, activist networks, community groups, academics, professionals, students and faith-based groups.

The space will be used to continue the ‘Free University’ community-based education initiative, community workshops and events, and to host public General Assemblies.

As we transition into this next phase, we will need a great deal of support. It has become increasingly apparent that Wellington contains a huge number of people who support the global Occupy movement but have not seen a clear way of contributing locally.

Our vision for the next phase is to restructure the movement to enable the participation of all individuals and organisations that share a basic desire for a more equitable and sustainable future.

We want all of these groups and individuals to benefit from being linked in to a global movement simultaneously taking place in 3,000 cities, utilizing the media appeal and public awareness and excitement associated with the Occupy movement to further their diverse campaigns for positive change.

The first thing we need to secure is a suitable indoor space – we’re exploring some promising options, but we need as much help as we can get. If you have any ideas for possible spaces, or contacts for other people who might have relevant information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email [occupy.wellington@gmail.com] or phone [0223150958].

9 thoughts on “Occupy Wellington Looks to the Future: “It’s not just about the tents”

  1. AWEsome.

    Great media release people🙂

  2. The City is Ours says:

    “Although Occupy Wellington is no longer based in Civic Square, clearly some individuals may continue to exercise their right to remain there”.

    Define; You can’t evict an idea……..

    • 10mirrorman says:

      This paragraph has caused me considerable disquiet, having been to the site this morning there were all the banners, flags and tents many from day one. These were occupied by people (some from day one), most by staunch survivours who without, the site would NEVER have lasted as long as it has.

      “Define; You can’t evict an idea……..” Well you can’t be forced to contract .. it requires consent.

      I’m wondering about horizontal democracy and consensus in this press release. It is as dissatisfying as it is premature.

  3. Keep up the good work, the tents are just a start… the next phase ought to be interesting

  4. Richard Keller says:

    It may be that those who remain in the tent area consider themselves as a significant part of Occupy Wellington. Yet the article gives them only passing notice. As far as I know, no decision has been made by a General Assembly to downgrade the importance of the tent area in Occupy Wellington or to remove OW’s base from Civic Square; this article is very presumptuous.

  5. MattG says:

    Looks like those that make the official press releases dont want to take the rap for those that that are occupying the physical space. The horizontal democracy created a beurocratic layer of web-tech savy ‘press releasors’ that have risen above the occupiers who are now leading the movement by maintaining a pressence in the face of the cold weather and Cynicism invading above and outside. As a bonus though most of yall can enjoy the holday season for a week or more before phase two

  6. mmmm says:

    Isn’t it time for some honest self analysis of the movement? How did it all go so badly wrong after such a promising start?

  7. For those with concerns about whether this was ratified by a GA, please note that the original Occupy Wall Street was not initially an open and consultative group. They spent two months in secret planning, with 100 invite-only participants. It was only AFTER months of planning that they Occupied Zucotti Park, and became an open and consultative group. See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/nov/10/zuccotti-park/?pagination=false

    OW has not had that luxury, we have had to be reactive. This was necessary for a time, now it is time for us to step back a little, evaluate and plan. Anyone who wants to be part of this planning is welcome to join us. We will be back and fully public in due time.

    All this of course, is only my view of things, and does not represent the views of all Occupy Wellington.

  8. Cassiopea Aotearoa says:

    It feels to me that there’s room for everyone to go as they will: some to stay with the tents and the physical occupation, others to build this new structure “Bank of Ideas’. After a while, it’s inevitable that different priorities emerge. The challenge is to maintain conversations and respect for everyone’s process – this is what will make something new in this world of dissension, dissatisfaction and oppression.
    Keep building bridges – if on’e torn down, build another!

    Kia kaha e nga hoa

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