The support of the local community has been overwhelming and the debates have been productive. Unfortunately however, reports of anti-social behaviour on site have detracted from the many successes we have had. The purpose of this statement is to discuss these incidents and address the concerns of the people of Brighton & Hove.
One of the reasons our society has become so divided is that for too long we have ignored our rapidly expanding underclass. Vast swathes of people have been unable to cope with the bureaucratic nightmare of modern life and these people have become disenfranchised, segregated and ostracised.
Many of those staying on site full-time comprise the most desperate and vulnerable people in our society. Stress, homelessness, mental health, drug and alcohol dependency issues dominate their day to day lives. The group decided early on that we cannot abandon these people, that they too have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We are determined to include these members of the 99% in the movement - to give voice to the voiceless - and to learn from their experiences how best we can move forward. We are liaising with specialist one to one counsellors and creating a support group to help these people overcome their problems.
We have enforced a dry zone policy - no drink or drugs are allowed in the camp. Primarily, this policy is to keep everybody safe and the discussions lucid - secondarily, it takes into consideration those who are trying to get clean.
Occupy Brighton, like so many other occupations around the world has therefore become real life care in the community. In his infamous Big Society speech, our illustrious, multimillionaire Prime Minister, “Dave” stated his intention to create: ”an environment which feels like a community, where our relationships are better and the glue that binds people together is stronger. Where we actually think about people's well-being when we make decisions. These are the things I'm most passionate about in life. This is what is in my heart. It's what fires me up in the morning.”
We second Dave’s sentiment wholeheartedly. Considering ALL people’s well being when we make decisions is paramount to the success of our society as a whole. We need the understanding, support and involvement of the whole community if we are to continue the work we have started here.
We would like to thank everybody who has contributed to the movement. Your support has been absolutely vital and is very much appreciated. Please continue helping our community to help itself. We will be issuing more statements very shortly.