Occupy Sheffield set up camp on 5th November on the forecourt of Sheffield Cathedral, and many people from the Burngreave area have become involved by spending time at the camp and donating equipment. Some have told the Messenger why they are getting involved.
“In a state of despair about our current situation I went down to London to visit the Occupation at St. Paul's. That was such an amazingly hopeful experience that I came back really wanting to do something similar in Sheffield. I've not slept out at all because of health problems but am down here every day suggesting and promoting workshops – we had one recently on restorative justice and one on income inequalities. Everyone is invited to get involved at whatever level is possible for them. We have two General Assemblies a day at which decisions are made by consensus and at which everyone is encouraged to speak – the aim of all occupations is to be leaderless and non-hierarchical. I'm also one of the group that meets frequently with the Cathedral manager to discuss issues.” Jean Wildgoose
“The next generation coming up have nothing to look forward to. I've been here since nearly the start and got involved in ways I never thought I would – we did a talk at the University of Sheffield yesterday and got loads of support from the students, we also get amazing support from passers by. Not everyone agrees with what we're doing but we always listen and respect their views. Billy Bragg came down and played the other day, he was awesome! There's been some disagreements at the camp, over whether to welcome homeless people with drink or drug problems – I've been homeless myself so I know what they're going through and help to keep them calm and signpost them to the Archer project at the Cathedral. I've spoken up about this at the general assembly meetings – this whole experience is having a really positive impact on me personally, people here are treated with more respect.” Joel
“Every day at Occupy is a success, where people are supporting the movement, finding common experiences from capitalist misery and finding connections through conversation. Come down, or just occupy yourself, it's how you feel that matters.” Cassie
“I'm a supporter, I make occasional visits, because highlighting the iniquities of the current economic system needs doing! You hear commentators say that Occupy has no coherent message but whenever you hear anyone from Occupy speak on TV they are all saying that the current system is unequal, unfair and can't continue. That seems fairly coherent to me! Occupy is actually about all of us, whether we realise it or not!” Rachel