Meetings which don't drag

They're great! Get everything done quickly, explain what needs to be explained, sort out what needs to be done by who, and get down the pub for a chat and an Adnams (I recommend Broadside, and if you can't get it you're clearly in some way deficient).

My lot (and by 'my lot' in the context of Libcom blogging you can pretty much assume I mean a micro-grouping of try-hards who'd bore you senseless about politics in the pub) were having one of our bi-weekly gatherings last night.

Fortunately, this week's facilitator (who has in the past posted on here as Tumbleweed) has come back from a summer of debauchery* with a good line in keeping conversation on track, so despite starting an hour later than scheduled we managed to get through a big list in record time.

We've discovered that in order for meetings to be efficient, we have to split off projects that aren't specifically ideological from the main meeting. So plans for a housing co-op, community centre, fundraisers for worthy causes, food co-op ordering and such which were set up by long-term members are all done in seperate time. For new members, this is extremely helpful because it cuts down both the meeting time (so it doesn't drag) and the amount of stuff that has to be explained in one sitting - it is often explained on a one-to-one basis later.

This leaves much easier subject matter to get through, like a round of BNP leafletting that has been happening in town. We've put together a leaflet to counter them a bit, have got hold of a sample leaflet for a more direct approach, and know roughly where needs to be counter-leafletted. Other stuff includes stalls, announcements etc, but it can all be done in around an hour - which means we can keep concentration.

So yeah, all in all the system seems to be working extremely well, and I didn't have to sit around for hours over it. Highly recommended.

*I don't use the term lightly, if you see him ask about his Scandinavian adventure and you'll see what I mean.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Oct 3 2006 11:38


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Oct 4 2006 10:13
an Adnams, I recommend Broadside

The tipple of my youth!

Rob Ray
Oct 4 2006 12:17

Tipple of my current youth wink (though tell that to the railway company, apparently I'm not yoof enough to warrant a young persons railcard any more cry)

Oct 4 2006 12:21

Man, I can't remember the last meeting I went to. Oh apart from a libcom one in June, and they're always ok.

Anarchist meetings suck so bad, I'm going to an american anarchist meeting too later this month in new york, i bet that'll be an experience! (i went to some in 2001, they were pretty bad... *wavy hand motion*)

Rob Ray
Oct 4 2006 12:50

Ours aren’t too bad, we usually get something useful out of it (though some are better than others). Bizarrely the only time the wavy hands get used, ever, is when they’re being explained to new people :?

For the benefit of those not in the know, I should explain that wavy hands are the strange and unloved progeny of summit-hoppers who got fed up with people interrupting meetings to agree, at length, with things that had already been said.

The fundamental problem was that the solution – a series of hand gestures that would baffle deaf people everywhere - was worse than the problem, with stupidly large chunks of every meeting being given over to explaining that doing ‘Jazz Hands’ meant you agreed with something, making a ‘T’ shape was admonishing someone for going off on a tangent, etc. Curiously, it never occurred to people that a) this doesn’t stop summit bores from saying exactly what they want regardless until someone actually tells them to shut up rather than just glaring b) someone in a big room frantically ‘T’ing is easily ignored, and c) nodding was invented several thousand years ago for precisely the same reason as Jazz Hands, and smacks rather less of elitists filling the world with specialised political jargon.