Report: Colchester social forum

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Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Joined: 6-11-03
May 9 2004 11:35
Report: Colchester social forum

The forum was yesterday, and went off with a minimum of posturing and argument. Anarchists were the largest contingent (grin circle A).

The Outcome:

* No decisions made in forum to be binding. No central group to run the event, no authority figures. The forum will facilitate the various pressure groups and projects rather than being some sort of centralised ubergroup.

* A website will be set up to provide a central space for local independant groups to say who they are/what they do etc, and will hopefully feature a web diary of local and national events.

* An email discussion list is going to be set up to keep everyone updated on what's happening - send an email to if you want to be put on it. There will also be a web-board set up.

* The next forum will be in Ipswich (cos we're the most central and accessible), to be organised by Ipswich Anarchs. We'll be sorting that out hopefully over the next few weeks so more details on that later.

The main thing to come out of it was a need for various people to help out. The forum had 30-40 people this time, almost entirely from near Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich. To up the numbers and bring in more people it needs groups involved to act as:

- Contacts in as many local areas as possible

- Distributors for publicity about future events etc

- Web page designers to help out with the new site

- News and event gatherers to provide material for the events section of the site (this would involve nothing more strenuous than everyone keeping an eye out for events etc and posting them up on the site or email lists)

It needs people in the main towns but importantly in as many small market towns and villages as possible because those are the places with the least coverage. Please don't just assume it'll be sorted by someone else if you leave it, because we don't have vast numbers of people and it probably wont.

Future plans:

*The forum will have an education and outreach programme, designed to get young people more clued up about what's happening in the world and long term to provide a viable alternative to the current education system which the forum can put forward. Tentatively, the idea of education 'tours' was put forward - covering a variety of subjects - as a test for the ideas generated in the forum.

*It'll co-ordinate in future with the anti-G8 movement, though this wont be specifically part of the forum's remit (basically because it's gonna be a forum and publicity network, rather than a specific campaigning goup).

* The web-board will expand to include:

- more in-depth entertainment and event guides, including national events.

- Features about important issues around the region

- (eventually if there's enough interest and people able to act as local correspondents) an alternative news page

- A comprehensive database of useful groups and contacts

* A regular newsletter (possibly in much the same mold as Schnews) for distribution round the regions.