This document is a proposal for charaterising the types of activities that will take place at Agora Brussels. It is not a closed or definitive document. It is open to anyone who wants to bring in their point of view for editing. It has also been submitted to OccupyToghether, citizen Assemblies in USA are borrowing our documents as a guide for their work!
These groups and activities are framed within a context of horizontal, open and active participation, apartisan and nonviolent.
Assemblies: An assembly is a gathering of people who, individually and horizontally, are looking for a consensus decision (depending on the assemblies, they can also be approved by 4/5 or majority). A series of proposals are presented at the Assembly conforming an order of the day, with an explanation of each proposal and the reasons why they should be approved, doubts are resolved before they are subjected to consensus. Any person, committee or working group may submit a proposal at the meeting, but must commit to prepare it coherently.
If not approved, the proposal may be modified and reintroduced, changes are not revised during the same assembly, they return to the workgroup or the person who proposed it for amendments. People who opposed the proposal should commit to work to improve it, for consensus consists on collectively building for every one, as opposite to imposing our views or to blocking proposals that don’t satisfy our personal interests.
Popular Assemblies: These are meetings that have the same format as the assemblies, but they are deliberately held in different parts of a city, with the purpose to attract local residents and encourage their participation. These meetings necessarily involve an explanation to residents about the movement and operation of the assemblies. Topics may include local issues and / or (if desired) a discussion of a more specific topic in a way similar to a discussion forum (see below).
Work Groups: a work group is a gathering of people working temporarily or permanently in a specific topic of interest. They can make decisions, but sometimes their proposals have to be approved at a meeting that includes the entire Assembly (a call for demonstrations or protests, central aims of the movement, etc). Example: a working group on economics, feminism or political (usually permanent), or a working group to develop a specific statement to the press (temporary).
Commissions: Commissions are work groups that will be devoted to organizational tasks of the Camping and the Agora Brussels tasks such as internal communication and the Media Center, coordination needs in the camp, cooking and eating, dynamic, audiovisual record meetings, translation, information assistants and infrastructure and logistics. Commissions have their own space in the Camp at Elizabeth Park.
Actions: These are actions that seek to disseminate the goals, ideas or development of the movement. Distinction is made between micro and macro action. The micro action must be developed by a small group of people, like Enceladus the entrance of a bank or put a banner in a unique building. A macro action is carried out by a large number of people, this is a rally or march. Every action has to be an act within the principles and objectives of the movement defined by the Assembly (non-violent for a start).
Workshops: A workshop is aimed to learn about a specific topic. One or more persons are responsible for conducting the workshop to share information, techniques, tool use and/or dissemination of knowledge in lectures. Example: workshops on non-violence and respect, talks about police repression of peaceful resistance techniques, classes on use of free software programs, etc.
Discussion Forum: A discussion forum is a talk, open to everybody, respectfully using turns for speech and encouraging participation of all horizontal bystanders. A discussion forum is not intended to reach a decision, but to elaborate on the selected subject, sharing different points of view, but any interesting topic could evolve into a proposal for a meeting or an Assembly. It is desirable to keep record of all the interventions of the forum (i.e. minutes), and a moderator to prevent the subject matter to end up blurring. Example: a discussion forum on the economic crisis in USA or about current political corruption at Public Bodies.