community base meeting minutes

Meeting 6.40 to 8.30 pm 07- March 2011 Community Base

Initially 14 attendees joined later by 2 or 3 more

The Campaign so far
Working Groups to discuss Next Steps
Feedback & Group discussion
Working Groups to discuss Action Plans
Feedback & Group Discussion

The meeting was designed, facilitated, scribed & noted by Karen and Louis using consensus and associated disciplines & began with a go-round introductions & reasons for attending.

Karen assisted by Louis gave an account of the history of Taj activism:

Setting up of a Facebook group
Launch of a petition by the Labour Party
Occupation and activities within Taj building by squatters and students & subsequent events:
library, cafe, discussion area
4 hour exhibition in basement attended by 600 (Tuesday)
County Court attendance and granting of an Interim Possession Order(Wednesday)
demonstration & talking to public outside Taj (Thursday)
decision by squatters to barricade & quit
subsequent storming of ‘occupied’ Taj by police (week later)
erroneous report of one squatter found by police
Petition now signed by 1,400 triggering obligation to discuss at Council 25th March
Open letter to Mary Mears, now signed by Caroline Lucas MP & 180 others:
to address national government under ‘Localism’ & ‘Big Society’
intended to produce maximum media coverage
timing to reinforce petition & Council meeting
other high-profile signatories will help
Petition to be presented symbolically on 24th March
Conservatives have started a petition

Next Steps – lively working group discussions in 3 groups of 4/5 for 30 minutes

Feedback (rearranged in related groupings):

Bad PR for Sainsbury’s
Research Council & Supermarket policies to target campaigning
Meeting with Sainsbury’s
Face to face meeting with Simon Kirby MP (local)
Direct campaigning @ Sainsbury’s (letters, emails, questions)
to other successful anti-supermarket groups (nationally)
community groups & co-ops in Brighton for solidarity/alliance
involve St James St traders association
Offer other forms of communication than Facebook
Outreach & PR Events
Rally outside Council meeting (25.03.11, 4.30 @ Hove Town Hall)
flyer publicising rally
slogan “Making life taste bitter”
Kemptown Carnival in June
Celebration of independent businesses
‘Fringe’ Festival Fringe Event (sponsored by Council)
Contact English Heritage re Conservation Area/altering character of City
Present viable alternatives for use of building
involve local producers
rent & rates c£130,000
Arrange National Economic Federation ‘Clone Town’ survey & census of independent vs corporate outlets on St James St

Working Groups to discuss Action Plans – Proposed under 4 areas
I. Public & Media (already being handled)
II. Sainsbury’s
III. Council & Politicians
IV. Community groups & traders

Only one group formed, as about half of those present had to leave.

No Working group report available

Meeting closed.

The next meeting had already been pre-arranged & publicised on Facebook as follows:

15 March · 18:00 – 20:00 The Black Dove Bar 74 St James St, BN2 1PA Brighton
This is near the traffic lights @ Rock Gardens at the top end of St James Street.

Black Dove Facebook page

The meeting has been approved by the owner and we can have the music in the downstairs area turned down.
Under 18’s are allowed into the bar until 9pm under a new license variation.

Some people involved do not use Facebook and some do not use email. We need to ensure that we can communicate with everyone.


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