Ideas for Freedom: a weekend of socialist discussion and debate - London - 29 June-1 July 2007

47 posts / 0 new
Last post
Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
May 24 2007 17:26

would that have been more than CWF then?

Devrim's picture
Devrim
Offline
Joined: 15-07-06
May 24 2007 19:25
Tacks wrote:
would that have been more than CWF then?

It is very difficult to judge as they weren't a membership organisation.

Devrim

Sacha
Offline
Joined: 28-04-06
May 25 2007 14:21

1. On SolFed vs AWL membership, I was honestly just interested, not play "mine is bigger..." I didn't base my decision to join AWL on the idea that it was the biggest left group! If the DAF had 160 members in the mid-1980s, it was about the same size as Socialist Organiser, which peaked in the late 1980s-early 1990s with about 170 members and some organised sympathisers. Now we have a bit over 100 members, plus some sympathisers. Anyone got any idea bout the size of SolFed?

2. It wasn't me that lent money to "Ed", but yes, he rues the day! "Ed", please get on it snappy as Martin is very poor. Btw, comrade, will you being coming to Ideas for Freedom or would that ruin your street cred?

3. Big Brother: don't understand the comment about someone joining something. Who is the "Gentle Revolutionary"? (Sorry if I'm being obtuse.) For those who are even more confused than me: Faria Alam, who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, is a distant cousin of mine. That's the "other AWL connection".

4. John etc, thanks for checking this out. I hope you subscribe to the principle of innocent until proven guilty! This is a very serious accusation for someone to make, and I'm shocked that it's been circulating in the anarchist movement when it's not only untrue but blatantly untrue.

Sacha
Offline
Joined: 28-04-06
Jun 17 2007 16:58

More details...

Ideas for Freedom - a weekend of socialist discussion and debate

1) Solidarity with women and workers in Iran: film showing and social
2) Ideas for Freedom draft agenda

1) Solidarity with women and workers in Iran: film showing and social

On the first night of Ideas for Freedom, Friday 29 June, we will holding a film showing and discussion on women and workers' struggles in Iran, followed by a social. 7pm, at the Bread & Roses pub, 68 Clapham Manor Street, SW4 6DZ (Clapham North or Clapham Common tube; Clapham High Street rail).

We will be showing the film Offside, which looks at the oppression of women in Iran and their resistance to it through the story of a group of young female football fans. Released last year to critical acclaim, the film won the Amnesty International award for best film and deals with important issues around women’s liberation and the nature of the Iranian regime in a funny, entertaining way.

Iranian socialist activist Nasrin Parvaz will lead off a discussion on the struggles of women and workers in Iran, alongside Houzan Mahmoud from the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq speaking about campaigns against sharia law and honour killings in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Speakers followed by a social with a late bar.

2) Ideas for Freedom draft agenda

Saturday 30 June at the Resource Centre 356 Holloway Road London N7 (Tube: Holloway Road)

12-1.30pm
- Is the fight in the Labour Party over? After Gordon Brown's coronation, how do we win working-class political representation? Speakers include John McDonnell MP
- The G8 summit: their meeting, our protests. The politics of capitalism and climate change. With Paul Hampton and German activist David Graumann

2.15-3.30pm
- Forum: Darfur and the politics of humanitarian intervention. With Cathy Nugent, editor of Solidarity, and Hratche Koundarjian (Aegis Trust)
- For Palestinian solidarity, against a boycott of Israel. With Sean Matgamna and others
- Introduction to Marxism (1): Workers, multitude or people of goodwill?

3.45-5.15pm
- Does socialism have a future? Debate between Nick Cohen, observer journalist and author of "What's left?" and Sean Matgamna
- Do Labour Councils have to make cuts? RMT and Hackney tenants activist Janine Booth talks about the lessons today of the 1921 Poplar Council struggle and a campaigner talks about current anti-cuts struggles in Lambeth
- Intro to Marxism (2): Are revolutionaries violent?

6-8pm
- Forum on multiculturalism and anti-racism. With Priya Gopal, author of "Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence", and Camila Bassi
- Forum on the unions: why were we defeated in the 1970s and 80s, and how can we rebuild today? With Sheila Cohen, author of "Ramparts of Resistance" and Pete Radcliff

Social: Tommy Flynn's. Corner of Holloway Road and Liverpool Road. Late bar; live music

Sunday 1 July at the Resource Centre, Holloway Road

11am-1pm
- Forum on LGBT politics: 'Queer' – a useful concept in the struggle for sexual liberation?
- Marxist workshop: Understanding Marx's "Grundrisse", with Martin Thomas
- Marxist workshop: Anarchism and Marxism in the Spanish revolution (1936-9), with Mark Sandell

2-3pm
- Gender and sexuality, race and class. With Surya Monro from Leeds Met University
- Marxist workshop: "Josef Dietzgen - a first generation Marxist fights the battle of ideas". With Bruce Robinson
- Intro to Marxism (3): Do we need political parties?

3.15-4.15pm
- How the working class went global: Newsnight journalist Paul Mason discusses his book "Live working or die fighting"
- Intro to Marxism (4): What does it mean to be 'left wing'?
Final session: "The fight for workers' liberty"

Tickets are £25 waged, £15 students and low-waged, £10 unwaged - but three pounds cheaper if bought in advance. One day tickets are also available.
Accommodation can be provided.

More details about the event: email awl@workersliberty.org or phone 020 7207 3997.
To book online http://www.workersliberty.org/ideas

IrrationallyAngry
Offline
Joined: 23-06-05
Jun 18 2007 00:07
Sacha wrote:
Now we have a bit over 100 members, plus some sympathisers. Anyone got any idea bout the size of SolFed?

Less than half of that.

The largest class struggle anarchist organisation in Britain is the Anarchist Federation which claims to have about 60 members. SolFed is below that. Class War has less again.

red_gordon
Offline
Joined: 15-10-06
Jun 18 2007 02:05

Paul Mason who will be commenting on his book "Live Working or Die Fighting" was I'm told by a member of Workers Power in their group (before the split). Could provide for a funny debate.

Battlescarred
Offline
Joined: 27-02-06
Jun 20 2007 12:55

AF has about 80 members now

georgestapleton's picture
georgestapleton
Offline
Joined: 4-08-05
Jun 20 2007 13:56
IrrationallyAngry wrote:
Sacha wrote:
Now we have a bit over 100 members, plus some sympathisers. Anyone got any idea bout the size of SolFed?

Less than half of that.

The largest class struggle anarchist organisation in Britain is the Anarchist Federation which claims to have about 60 members. SolFed is below that. Class War has less again.

Yeah I could be wrong but as far as I know the gap between the AF and SF in terms of membership isn't significant. I think SF's membership is somewhere between 60 and 80 but I could be wrong.

the button's picture
the button
Offline
Joined: 7-07-04
Jun 20 2007 14:28
Quote:
I think SF's membership is somewhere between 60 and 80 but I could be wrong.

I don't know either. The only way to work out SolFed's membership would be to tot up the figures given by each local group in their report to national conference. Federal structure, or piss-poor record-keeping? You decide. grin

MalFunction
Offline
Joined: 31-10-03
Jun 20 2007 14:31
Quote:
Paul Mason who will be commenting on his book "Live Working or Die Fighting" was I'm told by a member of Workers Power in their group (before the split). Could provide for a funny debate.

didn't know anything about Paul Mason, but the book's not so bad. (though he does seem strangely silent about the CNT and other anarcho-syndicalist unions - if he comes from a trot background that would explain a lot.)

A quick google confirms Paul mason speaking on behalf of workers power at a meeting of the greenwich and woolwich socialist alliance in 2001

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/worker/390/greenwich.html

so how did a known trot get the gig as BBC Business correspondent ?

(I'm totally out of touch with the world of trot, seems there was a big split in workers power last year see:

Tuesday, 4 July, 2006
More on the Workers' Power split

extract:

Quote:
On 1 July the leadership of the League for the Fifth International (LFI) summarily expelled 33 members, mostly from the organisation’s British section, Workers Power but also comrades based in Australia and Ireland. Those expelled included the majority of Workers Power’s trade union activists, and a substantial proportion of its leading members and regular contributors to its paper.

The supposed pretext for the expulsions consisted of “leaked” emails that discussed the possibility of leaving the organisation either prior to or during the LFI’s congress later this month. The LFI leadership issued a very lengthy public statement branding the expelled members as “petit-bourgeois dilettantes”, who had succumbed to the “torpor of the labour aristocracy in Britain” and were seduced by “Chinamania”. Along with the ritualised abuse, the statement contains a number of inaccuracies and falsehoods that cannot be addressed here, but have already been answered in a statement from the expelled members

http://www.davidosler.com/2006/07/)

No idea if paul mason is still in workers power or permanent revolution or whatever.)

streathamite
Offline
Joined: 8-05-07
Jun 20 2007 17:13
Quote:
Why? It's a pub owned by the local trades council with a nice meeting room? What's wrong with using that? Would it be better to hire a less nice and more expensive meeting room in a more proletarian part of town?

ahem
The B&R is owned by Workers Beer Company which may have been set up by battersea TUC but is run and driven as a 100% capitalist entity, responsible for beer tents in festivals throughout the UK, and one whose bosses are putting no small amount of pressure on places like the B&r to make more profit.
which probably explains why;
1) It's become significantly more grief-stricken to get rooms upstairs as priority seems to be given to those payinjg for hire.
2) the food's pricey and poncey and so's the booze (the beer anyway)
3) the staff seem stressed and pissed off.
WBC = TUC exploiting the workforce.
i've heard working for them at festivals ain't no bed of roses either.
just my two penn'orth
edited to add; and if your planning to hold the social ina 'room' ie upstairs, either you aren't that 'social' yourselves or you can't be expecting many people at this event

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
Jun 24 2007 18:10

working for them at festivals is just like any other gig; you are treated fairly rudely and worked off your feet. But you nly have to do it for a short time if you can arrange to have multiple volunteers share shifts and its a valued fund raising tool.Its no worse than any other bar work job, with the massive plus that you are working with your mates and may get to see a band you like.

So no, its not garment making in Sai Pang, but its not a workers co-op either.

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jun 27 2007 12:28
Quote:
Every group has one of these things, but i think only the SWP have a tradition of other people attending with 'Marxism'. Certainly never heard of any unitiated attending these gatherings otherwise.

A good whack of my neighbourhood's local SSP branch did with the last one.

Quote:
Why are we carrying adverts for trots? If they want to treat us as equals then fair do's but they are always happy to mill around us believing their own propaganda about anarchists being de-politicised militants, when most of us wouldnt waste a breath in the circles they travel in.
And what makes it worse is the fact the AWL arent the sanest of the bunch.

Jesus Christ. It's an ad for a leftist discussion event with wider appeal than the AWL. This is a website for international leftists. You can clearly see why the AWL would be interested in posting here. And in all fairness to Sacha she's been far from uncomradely despite being severely goaded. If you want to convince anyone of the rectitude of your positions behaving like a big wean doesn't cut it.

I also think posting up

Quote:
Will there be a session on whether & how a Socialist Organiser* member grassed on members of the Dispatch Industry Workers Union?

, whether it's true or not, really does nothing for building power or capacity, which will always rely on forming alliances and working with people based around short term objectives. I would have thought, given that SolFed is aiming to build a workers organisation, it would be important to at least develop a working relationship with AWL members, as with most of the Trotskyist and left-Stalinist left, as they are likely to be fairly useful towards that aim. Perhaps in the cloistered atmosphere in London, where there are enougn people of any particular tendency that you can work exclusively with the brand name of your choice such positions are more common but it's bloody embarassing from where I'm at. On an everday level I work with Stalinists, Trotskyists, Labour Party members, the SNP and also large numbers of non-aligned working people in building mass organisations. I don't do that necessarily because politically I like those people, but it's necessary not to move beyond screaming Krostadt at each other!

Tacks's picture
Tacks
Offline
Joined: 8-11-05
Jun 29 2007 23:34

sacha's a lad - sorry Dundee sad

Dundee_United
Offline
Joined: 10-04-06
Jul 2 2007 15:23
Quote:
sacha's a lad - sorry Dundee

Thought you were a / sa:S@ / - soz. Anway who cares, the point's the same.