Community Action Gathering - Discussion and Details

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kalabine
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Jun 10 2005 09:31
Community Action Gathering - Discussion and Details

timetable for the community action gathering june 18th

Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green Rd, London E2

notice the earlier start time - so we can get more in

11.15 - 12 noon - arrival/refreshments

12 noon - 1pm - intros

1pm - 2.15pm - first workshop session

2.15 - 2.45pm - break

2.45 - 3pm - plenary

3pm - 4.15pm - second workshop session

4.15 - 5.15pm - reportbacks

workshop subjects :

session a:

1. fighting for the local services and facilities we need

2. our neighbourhoods - improving our streets, local environment, and community spirit

3. decent and affordable housing for all

4. regeneration, gentrification, and planning

5. workplace struggles and issues

session b:

6. community centres and social centres (whats the difference?)

7. interaction with residents and existing residents

8. council elections (pros and cons)

9. how to set up local groups

10. communication techniques and strategies (newsletters, mailing lists, leaflets etc)

email info@hackneyindependent.org

BB
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Jun 10 2005 11:08

Shit, summat practical, Good Luck!

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jun 10 2005 13:28

Bit of a buzz going around about this event - should be well attended.

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pingtiao
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Jun 10 2005 13:42

Yeah, I've been looking forward to it since it was announced.

See you all there

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JoeMaguire
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Jun 12 2005 13:17

Should be a few of us down for this....myself, mitch and pushka

BB
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Jun 13 2005 13:08

Can't make it myself, family. Will we see reports?

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the button
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Jun 13 2005 13:11
Brighton Bomber wrote:
Can't make it myself, family. Will we see reports?

Yes, if we get to see baby photos wink

BB
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Jun 13 2005 13:19
the button wrote:
Brighton Bomber wrote:
Can't make it myself, family. Will we see reports?

Yes, if we get to see baby photos :wink:

incoming! Not yet, check your pm's!

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jun 16 2005 10:28

Please circulate widely...

Community Action Gathering c/o Haringey Solidarity Group, P.O.Box 2474, London N8

Tel: 0208 809 9891 Email: CA info@hackneyindependent.org

Community Action

UK Gathering - Saturday June 18th

11.15am - 5.30pm (please note new times)

Oxford House, Derbyshire St, Bethnal Green Road, London E2 Bethnal Green tube.

To all radical, community-orientated local groups and individuals throughout the country…..

How best to organise and take action in our local communities?

- Final mailout: 15th June

- Includes all workshop / discussion details

Dear friends

We are inviting you to a UK-wide Community Action gathering this weekend - Saturday 18th June. The aim of the event is to share information and experiences, and exchange our views as local activists. Obviously, there's only so much that we can do at one event. But we hope to establish better links and communication channels among local groups. That way we will be more effective and be able to make a real difference in our communities.

· Are we having the effect we’d like?

· What is our relationship with local residents’ groups and broad-based campaigns?

· Which issues should be our main priorities?

· How do immediate practical concerns link to the need for fundamental social change?

Overall we want to promote anti-authoritarian, anti-state, anti-capitalist and pro-working class politics, and collective, non-hierarchical forms of organisation.

AGENDA

11.15am Arrival / refreshments

12 noon Introduction and background to the event. Brief introduction /

report from each group present.

1pm First workshops / discussions session

2.15 Break for refreshments

2.45 Brief plenary

3.00 Second workshops / discussions session

4.15 Report backs from discussions. Plenary on how activists can

work together better to support our communities and

local working class struggles…

5.15pm End and clear up

Evening Informal social

The workshop discussions

- What are the existing struggles, campaigns and grass-roots groups which show the way forward?

- what are our long term aims and what can we do in the here and now to work towards them?

FIRST SESSION

1pm 2.15pm

1. Fighting for the local services and facilities we need

How do we put pressure on those controlling community resources and services to get the improvements we need - education, healthcare, leisure facilities, parks, playcentres, community centres, council services etc? Should our communities take them over? If so, how? What is the role for user groups? Can people set up their own services?

2. Our neighbourhoods- improving our streets, our local environment and community spirit

What kind of neighbourhoods do we want? How do we get safer, greener and friendlier streets? How do we get rid of ugly and oppressive features (billboards, speeding traffic, mobile phone masts, too much concrete etc)? How can we build up community spirit and neighbourliness, and 'take ownership' of our areas?

3. Decent and affordable housing for all

How can we ensure decent housing for all. Can homelessness be countered by occupations of empty homes and buildings? How can council house residents defend public and 'social' housing against privatisation and gentrification, and fight for more control over their homes? How can private tenants and mortgage-payers stand up to landlords and money-lending institutions etc. What are the pros and cons of housing co-ops?

4. Regeneration, gentrification and planning

Can regeneration and 'urban development' benefit our communities? If so, how can people ensure their real needs are addressed? Is regeneration often a cover for gentrification and undermining working class areas and facilities (threatening established housing, green spaces, pubs, community centres, small shopping parades etc) - if so what can be done about it? How are communities resisting private developers and unwanted mega-projects?

5. Workplace struggles and issues

How do workers and workplaces link into community issues and struggles? How can communities directly link up with and support local workers, and vice-versa (eg. community boycotts and industrial action etc)? Should we work with trade unions or encourage independent workplace self-organisation?

SECOND SESSION

3pm - 4.15pm

6. Community centres and social centres

What kind of meeting places do local communities need? What are the pros and cons of existing community centres? Where else can people get together (clubs, pubs, cafes, parks, playgroups, church halls etc)? How can radical, self-organised social centres really make a difference in local areas?

7. Interaction with residents and existing residents’ groups

How can activists communicate better with our neighbours and our local communities? How do we interact with community-based groups of all kinds (especially residents associations and others who are committed to their communities)? What kind of activities can bring people together in a positive way - eg. single issue campaigning, public meetings and discussions, local festivals and street parties, informal sports, picnics, pub quizzes etc? How can such activities help build up a culture of local independence and resistance?

8. Council elections

What attitude should community activists have towards local politicians and council elections? Councils exercise huge influence over how resources (etc) are allocated - how do people work towards real local control and self-management over all decision-making and resources? Is it possible to support local pro-working class election candidates and at the same time emphasise the limits of municipal democracy? Or is it better to lobby councillors from the outside, or boycott them and rely on direct action? In the absence of mass-participation how does a local group gauge its support in the community?

9. How to set up local groups

Is there a fundamental difference between local 'political / radical' groups and local 'community' groups, or are they complementary forms of self-organisation? How can such groups spread to every locality, especially in predominantly working class areas? Can community-based single issue campaigns lead to permanent local organisations? How do we ensure that such groups are independent, inclusive, accountable to their communities, take up a wide range of relevant issues, and promote mutual aid and solidarity?

10. Communication techniques and strategies (newsletters, mailing lists, leaflets etc)

What practical methods are the best ways of spreading information, building up communication channels, and encouraging and inspiring people to get involved in the life of their community and to join in with local groups and campaigns? What are the benefits of leaflets, public meetings, newsletters, minutes, email lists, door-to-door visits/questionnaires, notice boards, posters, phone trees etc?

BB
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Jun 16 2005 11:11

I want to go! cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry cry

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jun 16 2005 11:37

I'm looking forward to it - I want to go to all the meetings! But sadly, like everybody else attending, will only be able to go to two.

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Ramona
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Jun 16 2005 11:57

I can't wait smile

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pingtiao
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Jun 16 2005 12:43

Annoying ly, in a way my brother is coming to stay this weekend- it is the only time I can properly see him before he goes off on holiday with his girl. I'm not going to be able to give this conference the attention it deserves, but i'll definitely go to as much as I can.

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

kalabine
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Jun 16 2005 13:04
pingtiao wrote:

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

and? angry black bloc

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oisleep
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Jun 16 2005 13:08

that solidarity group, what's their name.......copied it from colchester solidarity group i hear...........

WeTheYouth
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Jun 16 2005 13:21

I wanted to go but i only get given 9 days in holiday a year! and i have two left which i need to use for my brothers wedding!

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pingtiao
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Jun 16 2005 13:25
kalabine wrote:
pingtiao wrote:

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

and? angry black bloc

errr....

well done kalabine ??

red n black star

BB
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Jun 16 2005 13:52
WeTheYouth wrote:
I wanted to go but i only get given 9 days in holiday a year! and i have two left which i need to use for my brothers wedding!

Are you working part-time, or do they include bank holidays, as holiday?

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Steven.
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Jun 16 2005 15:46
pingtiao wrote:
kalabine wrote:
pingtiao wrote:

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

and? angry black bloc

errr....

well done kalabine ??

red n black star

HSG you muppet!

kalabine
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Jun 16 2005 17:04
John. wrote:
pingtiao wrote:
kalabine wrote:
pingtiao wrote:

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

and? angry black bloc

errr....

well done kalabine ??

red n black star

HSG you muppet!

i'm glad someone's got his head screwed on 8)

*nested quotes are 8)

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oisleep
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Jun 16 2005 17:07
kalabine wrote:
John. wrote:
pingtiao wrote:
kalabine wrote:
pingtiao wrote:

Well done to HI for organsing this, and see you all there.

and? angry black bloc

errr....

well done kalabine ??

red n black star

HSG you muppet!

i'm glad someone's got his head screwed on 8)

*nested quotes are 8)

i thought it was a joke from pingtiao, a fuckin cracker as well!! grin

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Jacques Roux
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Jun 19 2005 18:22

I thought this was excellent, a really good meeting... i dont think i have ever been in a meeting with so many sound people smile

Cheers to everyone who organised it and people who came along and shared experiences... gave me lots to think about smile

What did everyone else think?

Nick Durie
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Jun 19 2005 20:04

I enjoyed it. I'm glad that somone from Glasgow managed it down. I think it was really great too that Alessio and Roseanne from the Wombles managed it along too becuase they really get a hard time on these boards despite the fact they actually do good stuff, especially in comparision to many groups with their focus on issues which I don't feel are relevant to the working class. It's a pity the discussion around community centres/social centres and community involvement vs involvement in 'anarchism' was cut short coz I really feel it's an interesting debate.

Great to see so many comrades in attendance. Let's get on with the job so that the next conference in a few brief months has more practical and less theoretical concerns - e.g. how do we federate UK wide residents assocs/anarcho comm. centres?

Divisive Cottonwood
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Jun 19 2005 20:10

Lots of sensible people = sensible debate. I think some felt some of the forums were a little to unfocused, but then many were merged into one.

Just working on a Hackney Independent write-up. As a group, will be discussing the whole thing and the way forward in the coming weeks.

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Rob Ray
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Jun 19 2005 21:51
Quote:
how do we federate UK wide residents assocs/anarcho comm. centres?

Whoa there Lenny! Federations are a way off yet I'd think (though a good concept admittedly), alot of work, not enough people. On a regional level maybe and people keeping in touch via email...

Mike Harman
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Jun 19 2005 23:00

Very enjoyable. Good to meet some people from here I'd not met before (including Nick, Butchers and Lazlo!) and catch up with some I'd met before. Hopefully good things will come out of it.

Blacklisted
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Jun 19 2005 23:43

Sounds as if this was good and a step in the right direction - well done to all!

I was pissed off couldnt make it, where plans made for any kind of follow up or ongoing process etc etc?

kalabine
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Jun 20 2005 00:55
blacklisted wrote:

I was pissed off couldnt make it, where plans made for any kind of follow up or ongoing process etc etc?

i enjoyed it, cheers to all who came and contributed (everyone except the ICC loons wink )

special mention to the bloke from glasgae and the burnley/preston contingent for travelling so far

blacklisted - there will be an email list and possibly a messageboard for practical disscussion, and presumably politcal debate as well, also a suggestion that there will be a community action website set up as soon as possible, also there was a general feeling that the gathering should be annual - and hackney independent have offered to let people from elsewhere to come out with them while they carryout various community actions and see how its done, they are also willing to make reciprical visits

although hsg havent formerly discussed he proposal yet, i'm sure we'd do the same

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pingtiao
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Jun 20 2005 08:38

I enjoyed it, although it was a shame I couldn't give it the attention it deserved as I had my brother and girlfriend along with me...

Thanks to HSG (wink) and the rest of the organisers. I nodded at least twice at kalabine in an "alright mate?" way, but I was rudely ignored :mad:

Speaking of which- kalabine, i forgot to donate before i left to help towards the cost of putting it on- is there anywhere I can send money to/anyone I can give cash to?

Cheers all

The ICC are ace/annoying

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Steven.
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Jun 20 2005 10:40
Divisive Cottonwood wrote:
Lots of sensible people = sensible debate. I think some felt some of the forums were a little to unfocused, but then many were merged into one.

Yeah it was good, sound people.

The fact that the meetings actually passed of smoothly without twats droning on about their "encuentros" and their "networks" in the "spaces" and whatnot was very welcome at a reasonably large political gathering!

Some of the discussions were pretty unfocused and went all over the place, which was okay - the best thing I got from it was hearing the examples of practical stuff people had done which had actually achieved results. Some small but inspiring tales 8)

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JoeMaguire
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Jun 20 2005 11:55
kalabine wrote:
special mention to the bloke from glasgae and the burnley/preston contingent for travelling so far

Yeah we got alot out of it, the burnley posse have alot to go away and discuss with others...Im just annoyed I missed the ICC talking about revolution... grin