East Anglia Social Forum has a good start
On Saturday (8th May) the process of building the Social forums in
the East was given a good start. 28 people met in Colchester's Friends
Meeting house with the modest aim of helping further the process of the
The held good debate and ideas and was extremely well structured,
whilst being unusually flexible at the same time.
After an initial plenary session, where we all set out why we were
there and what we hoped to achieve we split into three working groups to
ensure that we did not come away with only talk and no action.
The group decided in an incredibly painless way to hold three working
groups and that the titles of these groups would be
- The G8 visit to the UK next year.
- Setting up networks and a linking web site.
- Ideas, discussions and education
In the final session we all got back together and we discussed what
we'd decided. The G8 group wanted to contact the dissent and other
existing networks, get involved in forth coming protests that help build
the G8 protests (including an anti-GM protest in the near future) -
which seemed a modest and achievable aim.
The website group clearly moved forwards in a realistic way on how to
publicise the ESF process and get things moving with an excellent set of
ideas about how groups that are involved can help each other.
The ideas group set out a framework for building a series of forums
(or mini tour) on the subject of another education system is possible
(working title) which will both be informative to those who attend and
also help spread the Social Forums around the region. There were
also ideas around subvertising and putting out propaganda to help
educate ourselves and the public - although I'm not sure if we
concretised that enough to make it viable currently.
Along with setting up working groups and getting some organisational
structure going to make sure the next event takes place in Ipswich in
July there were some interesting discussions about what a social forum
is and what it should do.
One thing it would be good for us to do next is achieve some more
formal support from progressive organisations. Colchester Peace
Campaign, Colchester Trades Council and Colchester Greenpeace all gave
their support for the initial, founding process and other groups and
organisations were well represented on the day so this is clearly an