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Lambeth Town Hall occupied!

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Anonymous
Feb 23 2011 19:11
Lambeth Town Hall occupied!

Lambeth Town Hall has been stormed by anti-cuts protesters, hopefully they'll occupy!

Watch it unfold here:

https://twitter.com/#!/search/lambeth

Samotnaf
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Joined: 9-06-09
Feb 23 2011 20:45

From the photos it doesn't look like there are many occupying. Any idea of numbers?

no1
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Feb 23 2011 21:10
Samotnaf wrote:
From the photos it doesn't look like there are many occupying. Any idea of numbers?

more pics:
http://www.urban75.org/photos/protest/lambeth-council-cuts-vote-february-2011.html

Samotnaf
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Feb 23 2011 21:30

Well, that looks a lot more impressive.
Be interested in hearing about the content of the discussions, but I guess there might be someone reporting a bit more on it tomorrow (hopefully).

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georgestapleton
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Feb 24 2011 00:00

Very cool.

Also SolFed banner looks deadly.

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Ed
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Feb 24 2011 00:18

Solfed is deadly.. to capital wink

bricolage
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Feb 24 2011 00:21

They were letting people in first of all to go up to the gallery then they decided to stop it but we pushed the doors open and rammed it full. The council then tried to start the meeting but the gallery called for everyone else who was still trying to get in to be allowed in. The mayor 'politely requested' we be quiet but everyone kept chanting 'let them in' and other usual anti-cuts stuff until the adjourned the meeting (later passing the budget in secret). People then came in the chamber, the councillors left and steve reed (leader of the council) tried to talk to the press outside but was shouted out/chased away twice. Most of the gallery people then joined everyone in the council chamber and a 'people's assembly' or whatever other jazz terminology is being used these days took place. It was generally encouraging, a lot of people saying we can't wait for union leaders to call action and have to put the pressure on now, (even if this was largely framed within the confines of the unions themselves but it's a massive shift from simply saying 'let's do as we're told' or 'let's wait and see') a lot of people saying the TUC march should end with an occupation of parliament square (not sure if I'm as in favour of this but still the radicalism is present). Sadly it ended problematically, some people starting proposing we occupy it for at least 24 hours but the local branch secretary of unison cut the debate short (he had a microphone, noone else did) claiming he spoke for the branch and was against it (even though the branch actually has passed a motion in favour of occupations) but more importantly by ending the discussion really shut down the idea. Even with that he still lost the vote but had killed the militancy and with the worry of getting picked off by the cops everyone left. Still though a massive success and a real show of collective strength. Maybe I'm overhyping it cos I've just got home and had a few pints but I really think there is a mass latent militancy just waiting to boil over.

bricolage
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Feb 24 2011 00:25

I only just saw that picture of the SolFed banner. I didn't see it at the time, was it put up/did you turn up, after everyone had gone in? I would have been good to have more people inside arguing against relying on union structures and leaders. There was some unison stewards who I have to say were putting across properly good arguments, I think the Lambeth branch seems, relatively, on it even if the branch secretary did sell us out massively.

futility index
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Feb 24 2011 01:00

Good job!

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Chilli Sauce
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Feb 24 2011 09:44
Quote:
I only just saw that picture of the SolFed banner. I didn't see it at the time, was it put up/did you turn up, after everyone had gone in?

photoshopped wink

Seriously, tho, that banner is fucking sweet. Some of you S. London lot need to do a write-up for the website and stick up that photo as the lead.

Well done.

Samotnaf
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Feb 24 2011 10:39

bricolage:

Quote:
some people starting proposing we occupy it for at least 24 hours but the local branch secretary of unison cut the debate short (he had a microphone, noone else did) claiming he spoke for the branch and was against it (even though the branch actually has passed a motion in favour of occupations) but more importantly by ending the discussion really shut down the idea. Even with that he still lost the vote but had killed the militancy and with the worry of getting picked off by the cops everyone left.

I -and no doubt loads of others - have seen these types of manipulation from Unison and various Trots loads of times before going way back. So what happens next time some bureaucrat does this kind of crappy manipulation? Will people seize the mic? Egg him/her? The habit of passivity, of not getting directly angry, of just repeating the same old complaining afterwards but being indifferent to doing anything immediately for fear of making a mistake or whatever, is being broken, and that's certainly exciting, but it needs to be constantly renewed to keep up the momentum, and against those who pretend to be on the side of the movement.

Mike Harman
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Feb 24 2011 12:08
Quote:
a lot of people saying the TUC march should end with an occupation of parliament square (not sure if I'm as in favour of this but still the radicalism is present).

Better idea than trying to 'occupy' Hyde Park at least.

While there's been a lot going on internationally, things seemed to go deathly quiet from December in the UK, it's good to see it warming up again. That Wisconsin tweet - is that just lefties drawing parallels or are lots of people actually talking about it a lot at the moment?

If I was feeling very optimistic it feels like there's a real potential for spiralling momentum at the moment - people are well aware these aren't isolated regional or national incidents and there are very, very fast feedback loops and communication (like protesters in Egypt ordering pizza delivery for Wisconsin). No sign of this hear yet though.

Jason Cortez
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Feb 24 2011 14:39

I put up the banner when everyone was still outside but it was on the traffic triangle, so it could be seen. i was inside but left at 8.30 as I didn't think an over night was likely to happen as the numbers were down and we didn't control any access points, plus the speechifying was getting too much.. I was still around when everyone came out, having disrupted Reed's media moment.

bricolage
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Feb 24 2011 17:53

Ah right fair enough, I must have been looking in the wrong places.