Planning – 5 wks to go

“Let’s go round in a circle and introduce ourselves.” There are always new faces.
Main agenda item – the convention.
The search is still on for a building to squat that can be broken into easily, then sealed up like a fortress against prying neighbours and the cops.
“Let’s have the Building meeting at the Townie [hotel].”
“Nah – it’s too bright.”
“What about the Bank?”
“Too many rules.”
“What rules??”
Shrugs. “Too many rules and regulations!”

“Did you see the huge Reclaim the Streets graffiti on King St?
“Awesome!”
“Where?”
“It takes up the front of the old Trocadero building.”
“It’s on next Saturday.”

“Will people please stop mentioning possible squat venues on the list? Someone mentioned the old mardi gras site, and now security have boarded up the ground floor windows. Don’t discuss it.”
“Someone might have leaked it to them.”
“Anyone could be reading our [email] list.”
“I saw a building with a dodgy-looking rollerdoor. A couple of jacks would open that.”
“It’ll take a full day to bump all our stuff in. We can break in the night before.
“Once in, you have to stay in the warehouse – cos then you feel like you’re in a bubble. Time, reality changes to Bubble World.”
“I only showered twice during the last conference.“
“I’m going to have to pop home to feed my cat.”
“The cops might come during the night, but they probably won’t if there’s 100 of us. It’s too much trouble.”

“I’m unemployed. I’ve got lots of time on my hands. I used to be with SCAN [squatters network] and I have all the council dates for when they pick up old furniture. In Leichhardt and the North Shore suburbs. We won’t have to buy anything – give me a list – my friend has a ute. I just need storage.”
“Under D’s house. There’s plenty of room.”

“What time should we set aside for lunch at the convention?”
“When we get up.”
“Nobody gets up before 1.”
“It’s better to force people to get up earlier. Otherwise the whole day slips away.”
“Our body clocks are going to be all out of whack – we’ll be living in Bubble Time.”
“Some people will jump up at the crack of dawn like they always do.
“How long should we have it?”
“We’ll have the complaints and grievances meeting at 11.”
“And lunch straight after.”
“For two hours? 12 til 2?”
“It’ll take ages to cook for more than 100 people.”
“It’s all vegan. My contacts are all in organic wholefoods.”

“Let’s have jazz on the first day. And some Spoken Word.”
“Spoken Word! We don’t want to scare everyone away. Call the Spoken Word something else – Mega Mike nite.”
“We’ve got to set the pace with some hard core cabaret performances on the second night. Get us in the right mind space.
“Then bands on Friday. And bands on the first night? Don’t worry about the neighbours – when we go in, they’ll know we’re there. Might as well be full on from the start.
“Some low chill music. Maybe jazz?”
“I don’t know any jazz bands.”

“When’s the Sex Party? Sat?”
“The Mother-of-All Parties will be on Sat. Let’s have the Sex Party on Monday.”
“We should have it once we’ve got to know each other.”
“Nah – have it on day one!”
“”Yeah, and the girls will have theirs six days later after they’ve gotten to know each other.”
“Sexist!”
“It’s true!”

“We’ve got to factor in a rest day.”
“There’s Fair Day on Sunday. We’ll be hot and tired after staying out in the sun all day.”
“We’ll need some people to stay at the squat in case the cops come. And we’ll need about 50 people to stick together at Fair Day and be on hand to rush back.”
“Let’s have the Sex Party on Monday.”
“Or Saturday.”
“We’ll have films after Fair Day. Then more films and an art show during the Sex Party – there has to be an alternative. Not everyone will want to do the sex thing.”

What about visitors from overseas? Will they need translators?”
“Nah – the Germans all speak English.”
“I’ve contacted the Asian groups I know and only the Philippinos were interested. But they freaked out at squatting. They don’t want to be over here doing something illegal.”
“We can put a button on the Web site in different languages asking if they need a translator and they can click it if they need one.”
“So we’ve got four weeks to learn other languages?”
“Just give them a phrasebook.”
“We can customise them.”
“Yeah – this is how you phonetically say `I want to go to the post office’ – Wil yew fuk mee pleez?

“Last supper and big clean up on Tuesday. Sometimes it takes three days to bump out.”
“And everyone disappears at clean up time. Make them earn their supper and spend at least five minutes cleaning before they go.”

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