Tories Out. Tory HQ Demonstration.
Great to meet you all. Hopefully we keep in contact with each other! 🙂
Here are some notes on the meeting. I’m hoping all the points are helpful in helping you organise similar meetings and spread the movement. Apologies if I missed anything or made any major mistakes. Feel free to respond with corrections/additions.
1. How the meeting started
If I remember correctly, the meeting started with three of us sat on a bit of tarpaulin, having a chat about the day and talking about how we hoped the movement would develop. People kept coming to sit with us, some of which we knew, some of which we didn’t, until we had about 12 people and decided to try to have a ‘proper’ productive meeting.
2. The ‘go round’
We decided t have a ‘go round’ and get people to share their names, how they felt about the day, and what they wanted to do going forwards. People kept arriving during this talk, until we had about 30 people or more. I feel this type of meeting could be started by anyone after a protest so I encourage you to try it. Just sit and ask people to join you.
Points that were made by people included:
Negatives about our current political situation:
-Fear that the country will go down the drain
-Zero hour contracts are bad
-Fear for benefits
-Fear for immigrants
-Fear for care workers and people that depend on care workers
-Anger/disappointment that so many people voted Tory
-A feeling the corporate media won the election for the Tories
-Hope that the Tory government will spark a reaction of more activism
Thoughts on the protest and future protests:
-Was good to have people on the streets, and a lot of good energy
-Desire for more and more direct action to make the Tories scared to carry out extreme cuts
-People felt a bit confused on the march and lost and disorganised, and weren’t warned by others that the police were going to kettle them.
-Desire for protests to be better organised. We need protest plans, lookouts, and people communicating with each other to keep each other updated
-Desire for more coherent aims of the protest or at least better communicated aims
-Some criticism of violent elements within the protest
Thoughts for the movement going forwards:
– More protests/direct action, mentioned above
– More people should get involved in Green party activism. Easy to become a council candidate
– Desire to change the money system
– People should organise community projects locally
3. Further discussion of what we should do
After the go around we didn’t really know what to talk about. It was recommend that we further discuss ‘what should we do next?’ We quickly discussed reform and revolution, and then started to go more into details of what projects people are working on. We decided we would try to share information about our projects and invite each other to get involved or learn from these projects. Below is some info on the different projects discussed:
Real Media website: A website which collates all the best radical media articles from Red Pepper, Occupy media and much more.
*Anna mentioned the organisation she is involved with:
Our Movement: an intersectional organisation which tackles all forms of oppression.
Anna’s contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @annaKTypes
*Phoenix mentioned several things he is involved with:
Occupy Democracy: http://occupydemocracy.org.uk/ I may be there tomorrow too. People are meeting in Parliament Square tomorrow (Sunday) from midday onwards. The plan is for discussions around creating a citizen’s constitution and also discussing where next for Occupy Democracy, and also discussions of alternatives we can learn from, from places like Latin America and Rojava. The Occupy Democracy event may continue after tomorrow. If you would like to join the mailing list send an email to this address: email@example.com
Runnymede Eco-village: Community set up in a forest near site of the Magna Carta. Refuge for many. Under siege at the moment from security forces.
Phoenix Rising: Phoenex’s blog http://phoenixrainbow23.blogspot.co.uk/
Also, Phoenix is always looking to network with people working on community projects.
Reclaim the Power. It is an upcoming environmental activist camp near Didcot gas power station.
*I mentioned two groups I am involved in.
IOPS London (London chapter of the International Organisation for a Participatory Society): A ‘revolutionary think tank’. We have a vision of a libertarian socialist society free from racism, sexism etc. We invite activists that want to achieve a revolutionary society to come and discuss the activism scene with us and plan how we can contribute to further revolutionary progress.
Website: http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london .
Alternative Institutions: This group started in IOPS but is now fully independent. Network of people promoting democratic institutions such as worker co-operatives, local finance schemes such as credit unions, participatory budgeting, horizontal trade unions and various initiatives of this kind. To subscribe, email me or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The idea for the group came out of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kc-E9FT6xOI
I would love everyone to get in touch with me about getting involved with these groups.
4. Ending the meeting
We ended the meeting on a positive note, with people saying they looked forwards to continuing various forms of activism and networking and also keeping in touch via email. I hope this happens!
-As mentioned, if you have any additions or corrections to this email, respond to this thread.
-Here is an ‘Events Calendar’ hosted on the Occupy website which can help you keep up to date with activism. Also, if you are organising an event or meeting, you can post it here: http://occupylondon.org.uk/events/
-And to quote Phoenix “network, network, network!”