Reports from Norwich EASF gathering 4th Sept

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Barry Kade
Joined: 23-06-04
Sep 10 2004 03:00
Reports from Norwich EASF gathering 4th Sept

Reports by various participants at the latest (Norwich) gathering around the East Anglia Social Forum. This gathering was held in Norwich on 4th Sept. Consultations are now underway for future gatherings proposed in Colchester and Cambridge.

Report 1) by MJR / slef

The Norwich forum on Sat 4 Sep was a success, seeing a reasonable number of people from diverse groups from around the region overcoming the terrible transport to meet for discussions.

A small pre-forum discussion on education, capitalism and alternatives interested some, based around the paper you can find on this site's online forum and with expert opinion from its author. At the end, the booklet "down wiv skool" was distributed.

After lunch, the main forum started with a brief introduction to the forum, schedule and history, then workshops were held on topics including: police powers and prisoner support; identity cards; Indymedia Cambridge and possibly East Anglia; and Hutchison-Wampoa's roles in East Anglian ports and Burma. In the second plenary, planning continued for future forums in Ipswich and Cambridge. Finally, the forum concluded with reports of recent past and near future activities.

Personally, I found the forum in general interesting and useful, but the workshop immensely frustrating and annoying. That was probably my own poor choice of workshop to attend, however. I think others were better, from the reports. The scheduling seemed to work pretty well, but maybe moving the reports earlier in the day may give more of the background needed to help people choose between offered workshops. Then the forum could close by planning future forums, which seems a neater conclusion.

Report 2) By Barry Kade: EASF is gaining momentum!

06.09.2004 17:39

EASF is gaining momentum! posted on Mon 06th September, 2004 by Barry Kade

Yes, I thought the meeting was good. Loads of different groups from diffrent towns, etc. Diverse types of politics coming together in common cause.

Workshops were fairly productive. I went to the one on Hutchinson Ports, based around the recent EASF report: "Felixstowe;- Corporations Kill".

At this workshop we discuused many of the issues surrounding the multinational corporation Hutchison Whampoa Limited, and its malign impact locally and globally.

It seems like a coalition of dfferent interets could form a powerful campaign against this particular corporate monster. Interests ranging from:

i)Workers rights in the UK, -especially health and safety following Hutchinson Whampoa's corporate killing of Dennis Burman at Felixstowe, but also the threat to dock workers jobs and working conditions generally by the centralising response of UK port corporations to increased globalisation and competetion.

ii)Burmah - Hutchinson Whampoa's central role in propping up the notorious military dictatorship of Burma, and the violent state repression of the workers movement there, exploiting people as slave labour for the global economy.

iii) The local environment - Hutchinson Whampoa's massive plans for building/expanding giant super ports in East Anglia and Essex. This will destroy much estuary and wetland wildlife habitat. It will also lead to the closure of the UK's smaller ports. This will lead to more road freight haulage, as instead of stuff being shipped around the coast, it will all come in through Essex/East Anglia as the main entrance to the country, and be carried to other parts on increasingly congested motorways.


People had many more ideas for workshops, and it was decided to start organising some of these in advance, for the next EASF gatherings.

This would mean they were better prepared / presented, and would also make the gatherings attractive to more people, who would come along to discuss specific issues they were interested in.

People wanted a workshop against the ethnic cleansing of Travellers in the Essex / East Anglia area. We are inviting Travellers organisations to help put on this workshop.

Other plans were to arrange speakers on Burma, and the connection with Hutchinsons. I think also other people are organising somthing on Palestine, something on police powers /state repression in the UK, and perhaps somthing on Cabon Politics/ global warming /biofuels and monoculture?

(These are obviously my own subjective impressions - can people please add their below!)

It was also the consensus that we should organise / announce future EASF gatherings well in advance, and therefore be able to build for them / conduct outreach around them more succesfully.

The rough plan was therefore for the next EASF gathering to be in Colchester in November 2004, and the one after that to be in Cambridge in January 2005.

Activist groups in Colchester and Cambridge are meeting in the next weeks to confirm these proposals;- watch this space!

Many creative projects are spinning out from these gatherings of movements of movements...including discussions about an East Anglia Indymedia, about the ESF and the Autonomous Spaces and about the movement to confront the G8's meeting in the UK in 2005.

Any other additions to this report? Simply fill out the form and post!

Avanti! Viva! Woooo-yeah!

Joined: 26-09-03
Sep 10 2004 08:27

Well done to all who organized this event and attended. A great success in my book. Look forward to many more and a lot more actions as a result of this process.

Very inspiring!