This idea was presented to the National Occupation Conference General Assembly on 19 November 2011 and was the subject of a break-out discussion that night.
Whereas Occupy London has accomplished the beginning of a great moral awakening in Britain;
Whereas the Church of England, the Church Universal, people of many other faiths and people of no faith share the goals of a more moral marketplace and a more moral government put forth by the Occupation;
Whereas a public forum throughout all of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is greatly to be desired by everyone who seeks to understand, decide and support the reforms necessary;
Whereas the spirit of the movement must spread beyond the camps or be in danger of diminishing;
AND FINALLY, whereas this is a land with a rich history of festivals:
THERE IS PROPOSED a Winter Carnival
There is proposed a great Winter Carnival, to roll through all of Britain from Cathedral to Cathedral. These Cathedrals are our commonwealth and they and the national Church of England should be pressed into service in this time of injustice and moral crisis.
Winter Carnival could have multiple components.
Candlelight Walk: A symbolic candelit walk beginning at St. Paul’s could start the Carnival – a victory march that recognizes the triumph of awakening the Occupation has started. The walk could go through London to St. Albans, Southwark, Westminster and beyond. In each city, the Occupiers could arrive at the train station and be met by local supporters, local activists, people of faith and people in need. They could then walk, holding candles, to the Cathedrals. A spreading of light.
Putney Debates: As in 1647, the Cathedrals could host debates or town meetings where the governmental and economic reform we seek could be refined, discussed, considered and our different options learned. Occupy would invite Ken Costa in his position at St. Paul’s Institute to hold public meetings about the need for financial reform. A constitution could be drafted by a travelling working group.
Occupation Tour: Instead of camping in one location, the camps could go from town to town, following the Putney Debates and opening the Carnivals in each town.
Open Forums: at the carnival, all interested parties, including people of the churches, synagogues, mosques, the Occupy movements, people from political parties and interest groups and grass roots organizations, would come and talk about how to make change for the better.
Reclaiming of Government: A walk from the Cathedral to the government buildings – the town halls – where people could hold a General Assembly, airing their grievances in this winter of our discontent.
Heritage: Open the Cathedrals to the Occupiers and children and have history teachers explain the martyrs, and the historical role of the Church in securing greater liberty for the people. Let us hear the stories of the martyrs and progress and reform. Let us remember our own past together.
Wine, Feasting and Song: Local amateur bands could play, local suppliers could offer food, mittens and mulled wine and fairy lights, a celebration to raise our spirits and by raising our spirits raising our humanity.
Practical Help: The touring Occupation could assist at local foodbanks, homeless shelters and elder care centres to bring attention to local cuts issues.