Message from Reinder in Maastricht, the Netherlands
December 7th 2011
Up to now there are no good pictures availble made during the March in London on November 30th.
That is very deplorable. I have asked many people who would participate to make and send me pictures. But only one person has send me one that I can use.
When you look at the video, you see so many people using camera's. I was not there my self, I now am really sorry about that. If I had been there, I had taken pictures of the assembly of the towers. It should have been great shot to see people attacheing the green mesh over the frames and then apply the big red letters 'OCCUPY' and '99%'.
To have close up pictures of the people carrying the towers, absolutely amazing! These towers are about 13 meters above the crowds and just balanced by the three people carrying. A picture I have taken from a video shows this situation. But would it not have been great to see the dynamics of fear and fun of these people on photo's?
Now I hope that readers of this blog ask around and try to find people who can help to archive this great event in pictures. And of course, my special interst is the DemoUnits themselves and the people working with it.
Reinder in Maastricht, the Netherlands to James at Occupy Finsbury Square London December 4th, 2011
James, Matt, Anna, Elles, Bram, and all people that it may concern, here some new ideas for making progress ...
Mixed messages come from and about Occupy. Support for Demotech work is not granted. Some people in Occupy block funding of this work and travel done on behalf of ideas sprouting from Occupy. Some money is allocated, but about half of the cost still has to be agreed upon by the GA.
The big problem -not only for Occupy- is the get consensus on projects still in an imaginary state. Projects that people may like, but can not really completely picture. Even when demonstrated in reality (like the DemoUnits in London), the feeling of being unsure lingers on. And blocks participation.
Very understandable, it is one of the consequences of Direct Democracy. Yet, we want progress. There are very inspiring options in development of technology that would fit Occupy perfect. Our first success is the DemoUnits. The second success could be the small stove to make the tents habitable during the winter. And there is much more already that we discussed that could be done. Dreams to be killed in Direct Democracy? Let's explore ways to gain freedom, financially and program-wise.
There is a need to think about new roads to go ahead. I like to draw up a list of ideas and everybody is invited to add up to it.
1. Who should fund the DemoUnits and has an interest in them? They are there in London now, now there are people who are well trained to make more DemoUnits and/or to instruct others to make DemoUnits. The need for Crowd Communication is clear: the recent austerity measures ask for an answer and the population has to be mobilized for an alternative. Who is in charge of efforts to mobilize? Which political party, which unions, what other social movements? When we indicate such groups and find their contact persons, then we can address them with a clear message: Lots of Result with Little Cost (compared to all other means that they already use). We offer to construct DemoUnits for them, when they sponsor us. Matt and James can bring together the activists from Occupy they trust for their ability to work it out.
2. Matt and James did a good job in training a group of people in Maastricht (Frietjes Meeting) in a very short time in using the Direct Democracy Sign Language . They could continue to do so in invited and paid-for workshops.
3. Matt and James could come over to the Netherlands. With Maastricht as a base they could give the same workshop also in the Netherlands. A big percentage of meetings of all types of organizations is ineffective and people are desperate for doing it better. Consultants make big money out of that. Little doubt that in the Netherlands a start could be made.
4. Matt and James would be very welcome at Demotech to work on the many projects that the Occupy movement needs so much. Shelter and heating now for the present Occupy camps. But also a creditable answer to poverty. The three of us can speed up concrete action on a number of stagnating Demotech projects: effective stoves, water storage in 3W-villages, the rope pump, the hydraulic water ram, reading light for study: the NightReader, then very important for the West and poor countries: good eco-sanitation.
Matt and James already know their way around at Demotech. Staying at Demotech could be at no cost and reasonable comfort as they already experieced and that can still be made better. Some income for their contribution could come from yes: Occupy London, more direct from Anna's parties, as little is needed, it should be doable. But income as described in point 3. is most easy and assured to get.
5. More ideas are welcome!
For now I just mail this to the people that got my recent mails on the Occupy subject. I look forward to your response.
From James in London UK, to Reinder in Maastricht, the Netherlands 2d December 2011
I already have my costs for diesel and ferry ticket paid by Occupy London
I already have £200 from Occupy London ready to give to you to pay for materials for the Demounits we already have. I do need to give Occupy London a receipt or invoice or similar back for this though. Even a letter signed by you will be enough to satisfy them.
I already have slightly more than £50 received in donations made to me directly on behalf of Demotech to bring you back and the good news even more is coming!
I think we can easily go scavenge and buy, beg or borrow the additional materials needed for the stoves.
The video stuff is really important as media team at Occupy LSX want to put it on main page of their website, it gets thousands of hits from all over the world, this will help gain further donations so we can pay for development of not only stoves but all the other wonderful things Demotech can do!
Some video already starting to appear online, note this was NOT anything to do with me, just someone who was so impressed they were able to take quick video and upload themselves. It's here:
Contibutons from Maastricht and where the money comes from
Reinder from the Demotech Lab in Maastricht, the Netherlands to James at Occupy Finsbury Square in London UK. 2d December, 2011
Thanks for the video link. There should be more of this stuff. I asked Elles to get contact info, name and adress from people actually making video of the demonstration. Maybe she did it.
The shaky video footage can be 'calmed down' with a special video editing program. That would increase it value a lot. Same for probably all video's taken with small camera's. You know about that? The people who edit video for you know about that? Wil they do it?
Now Program Steps:
1. Your confirmation that money for the project must come from donations and not from your own pocket. See for this the mail I wrote about it to you.
2. Here in Maastricht I have to make up the list of cost made for the first two project items (visit with Stefan + 4 towers), the second item: making with you and Matt the 20 towers, and then the third item: cost involved with the stove and my eventual second visit. I'll notify you about the numbers that come up.
3. Here in Maastricht I take some time to take up again the stove project conditionally: there should be explicit interest from the GA for application. You and your friends have to do some promotion with the help of the images I did sent. Then let me know the results. That could be done in two days time (Sunday, Monday)is my estimate. If I come with the stove, it should be a working prototype, not the mockup that I already made. For that job I need a few days.
I send you this for a start and will add up to it later. Now I just need to do other things.
Please also comment on the mail about alternative solutions.
1) I am concentrating only on Occupy and Demotech. However, if there is a problem with getting finance from Occupy. But I have no problem doing some occational paid work as I have little else to spend money on. I have no rent or mortgage to pay. I have no electric or gas to pay. I don't have to buy food. We have other people who also do working jobs during the day and come Occupy at night, they do the same as me. We are united as one, divided by zero. I would rather spend any money I make on Occupy and Demotech. Just imagine the donations are coming from a businessman because they are!
That being said, support for the Demounits is growing by the minute in London. I do some online activity today with Facebook and Twitter etc as we often get donations from "outsiders" who send in money when they see us doing something amazing and positive. There is even talk that St. Paul's cathedral might like to put a tent inside the church as a representation of their support for Occupy! What better tent than a Demounit?! This is only at the talking stage at the moment though, not definite, but it shows what support we are gaining.
2) I had agreement from our General Assembly that I could get £200 for materials for the 20 Demounits that me and Matt helped to fabricate in Maastricht. I did not get authorisation for the materials supplied by you and Stefan on your original visit but I don't want you to worry about this. As support and awareness for Demotech grows we will raise the funds from donations to cover your costs in this respect. We easily gained £50 from people who donated directly to Demotech (not Occupy) on #n30 and I feel confident we will get much more on #d15 as I will be prepared with a megaphone rather than have to shout next time. You will see this on my video when finished!
3) I will do my best to get explicit consent from GA for money for stoves. The only problem with this is timescale and getting messages to people so they understand. The pictures you have provided will definitely be helpful in this. Bear in mind, even at LBB where the number of people is relatively few it can sometimes be hard to get consensus on how to proceeed. We are dealing with thousands of different people, spread across three different locations in one of the busiest cities in the world and without constant electricty and broadband. Very challenging!
Be assured myself and others work at this constantly. I really believe we can do this, I love Demotech and will always keep trying.
Hello, all of you! Really exciting to experience this Occupy London site with its "Direct Democracy". Being around here to introduce the DemoUnits (that get an enthusiastic response) and attending some of the General Meetings, I really admire these people.and the way they run this place.
This encampment exists only since three weeks, and already now it is running so well. It is certainly not sweet and easy. There is a lot of shouting, conflict and swearing. There are the very funny people that roam around here that otherwise you would only see in Fellini movies. There are the not-then-over-my-dead-body highly committed people, working all out to get this Occupy camp up and running. And there too is a majority of a people that are just there. However in the General Meetings you do not see these differences. I see the full participation of everyone. Meetings can be terrible, these Geeral Assembly meetings are great to experience.
Just now one of the all-out activists comes to the Media tent, where I am typing this mail to you. He tells me that his proposal has just been accepted. People here agree to fund that three people from here, me included, will drive to Maastricht coming Friday, to return after one week back to London. In the mean time there is money allocated for twenty DemoUnit towers. We get the money when we deliver.
I enclose some pictures of one of the meeting. Look at the hand signs. That is the tool that makes these meetings so special and so effective.
Greeting from a great place to be!
Pictures a bit small? That's only temporarely. Our webmaster is creating a setup that allows better viewing, large and with the right captions withing easy view. Come back to this page in a view days!
Three days ago, I arrived at Occupy London, Filbury Squaire and its sister village at St. Paul's. We unpacked the DemoUnits, Occupyers gathered around it and another start with DemoUnits was made. Yes, people loved it, applauded, and then ... forgot!
Well, that is not what is the idea. They have to embrace the DemoUnits for its Crowd Communicating Capacity. Occupy has a big story to tell and the DemoUnits offer a big public surface to spell it out.
Occupy is about Direct Democracy. It works fast but not overnight. But as I have to go back to Maastricht for other obligations, I want faster planning and faster support to get stuff done.
The big idea is to get together a crew of 4 people, drive with a van to Maastricht, do a three day training making all the parts for 20 towers of different size and reproduce the tools to make many more later at this and other Occupy sites.
Tonight there will be a GA (General Assembly) to decide on this plan. Wish it will work out according to plan.