The People’s Assembly of Victoria has gone through some restructuring of our Working Groups to bring participants’ ongoing energies together. We have moved towards an Umbrella Model in which we have three main Umbrella groups: Outreach, Internal Communications, and Logistics. Within each of these groups are the Working Groups that were created in General Assemblies.
What is a Working Group?
- Working groups are comprised of self-appointed individuals who take interest and initiative in organizing or facilitating a particular part of the movement. Working groups can discuss and come to smaller decisions within their group, but must bring any major decisions to the General Assembly as a proposal for consensus. All working groups are open and need more members, so please sign yourself up if you are interested.
But which Umbrella Group should I join?
The Umbrella Groups were formed to allow participants in similar Working Groups to work together and have a stronger team to get tasks done and ideas rolling. This structure allows the endeavours of smaller Working Groups to be fulfilled as well as those with more participation. Here is a look at the current Working Groups (WG) within their Umbrellas:
- Public Engagement WG: Planning events & strategies for empowering a wide variety of people to take part in the movement, find an aspect that appeals to them, and jump on-board the movement to change the world!
- Solidarity Liaison WG: Networking and communicating with local (and national?) organizations whose objectives are aligned with those currently emobodied in the occupy movement to determine how we can help each other out. Creating a database of these organizations and building solidarity.
- Indigenous Liaison WG: [To be defined by you]
- Media WG: Creating our own media through our website, youtube, livestream, and newsletter. Mainstream media relations including coordinating interviews, press releases, and press-conferences, as well as contacting about events or actions that we want covered.
- Arts & Music WG: [To be defined by you]
- Inter-Occupy Liaison WG: Networking and communicating with other Occupy groups (particularly in Canada) to share information, strategies, ideas, and resources. Keeping PAOV informed with a weekly/bi-weekly newsletter.
- Technology WG: The IT group responsible for setting up physical and online infrastructure to support and empower all the other internal groups and the public at large whom might want to learn more and get involved.
- Non-Violent Communication WG: [To be defined by you]
- Skills and Knowledge Share WG: [To be defined by you]
- Process WG: Primarily concerned with the research and practical application of the consensus process of decision-making to General Assemblies.
- Finance WG: Overseeing the collection of monetary donations, spending of these funds, and transparency reporting of the financial situation on the website and at General Assemblies.
- Legal WG: The legal working group seeks to empower PAOV participants by making them aware of their rights and the limits of police authority. In addition, this WG acts as a liaison to civil liberties groups and lawyers to forward court claims, rights violation reports, and provide legal advice and direction.
- Food WG: Mobilizing the amazing People’s Kitchen to continue bringing food to the people and the revolution.
- First-aid Call-out: This is a list of individuals with first-aid certification or experience who are willing to be contacted when PAOV is holding an event and would like to have first-aid presence.
- Peace keepers Call-out: This is a list of individuals who have mediation, conflict resolution, or physical skills to diffuse situations when emotions get hot or individuals feel unsafe. This list would be contacted for volunteers at events or large meetings.
- Family: Creating a children’s tupperware box and coordinating its existence at GAs, events, and other meetings.
- Venues: Coordinating with building owners/managers to find venues for meetings and events.
What if these groups do not support the way I want to be involved?
Not everyone has to be a part of a Working Group, although the more the merrier! There are many ways to participate and we hope you feel empowered to do so. Here are some other types of groups that you could start or join:
Mobilization Squads: Groups of people (minimum two people) who meet as many times as needed in order to discuss issues not concerning organization necessarily, but rather discussing issues such as political demands, planning a march, or restructuring something as needed. The difference between Mobilizing Groups and Working Groups is that MGs come together and disband as needed, whereas Working Groups are permanent groups. MGs can be impromptu at any time, and can run meetings for as long or short as wanted.
Think Tank: Groups of people (minimum two people) who meet to discuss particular issues with as little or as much focus as is desired. Topics could be as wide as “the environment” or as precise as “Enbridge pipeline”. These groups could have the goal of researching, engaging critically, finding solutions, etc..
The formation of these groups does not have to go through the General Assembly, but if you form one and want to invite others to take part, it may be useful to make an announcement at a General Assembly and have your meetings added to the calendar. These groups may also be formed from passed or tabled proposals and interesting discussions at the GAs.
We hope you have found a way to get involved and look forward to meeting you or seeing you again! Keep an eye on the calendar to the right to know about events and meetings to take part in!