The Socialist Unity Network

East Anglia Social Forum has a good start

Jim Jepps

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 Social Forums.

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

  1. The G8 visit to the UK next year.
  2. Setting up networks and a linking web site.
  3. 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 achievable aim.


May 2004

UK Social Forum page
East Anglia Social Forum

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