ESF: Language, propaganda and politcal/social makeup

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cantdocartwheels's picture
cantdocartwheels
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May 12 2004 12:55
ESF: Language, propaganda and politcal/social makeup

Mostly aimed at Jack, Saii and everyone else who was there.

Just wanted to get a solid debate started on the forum, focusing on short term and long term ideas.

Like who should we be asking to join right now?

and more importantly the follow on from that discussion raised at the end of the last meeting

Personally i don't want protest movements against the GB to be at the core of the forum at all, they shoudl be kept to the side, although soem mild affiliation is also essential. I just think that seperate groups, such as anarchist groups or peace campaigns should mobilise for that even if those groups are a large part of the ESF.

The main problem is as always how to link the indirect politics with the direct ones..

Opinions? ideas? wordy shit?

john

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Rob Ray
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May 13 2004 20:45

I don't think that having the forum as an officially non-politicised space is hiding anything, nor do I think of it as a front tactic.

The point of a forum is to allow people from all walks of life, politicised or no, to have a voice on issues which are important and discuss them without exclusion. The fact that the majority of the people currently involved are anti-capitalist should be irrelevant.

There's far too much of this 'you can't possibly care about the same things we do if you aren't anti capital' stuff going around - it's exclusionist and cuts down on the numbers the forum can potentially generate for useful causes.

If we are to hope to make a decent impact on the community with this idea it needs to be something people across East Anglia can be happy joining without fear of getting constantly barracked for their lack of sustained politics.

Frankly if it's simply going to be used as a propaganda tool it is pointless to call it a forum at all, we may as well give up the ghost entirely and call it an anti-capitalist recruitment drive.

That's not to say that the Anarchists can't show themselves to be useful, sensible people within the forum and lead by example. I don't see that as a stagist stretegy mind, just as a way of being helpful and cleaning up our image a bit.

rich
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May 14 2004 09:57

I had the impression that the social forums were a place to put forward what kind of world people were *for*. I see the East Anglian Social Forum as having two real purposes: 1) as a place for people to put forward positive proposals, challenge ideas, criticise current social disorder in an open discussion and then act on these discussions 2) to link up people so we can support each other and share skills and resources.

I don't think things like the anti-G8 should be pushed to the fore - I think the EASF should have a more pro- stance, should be setting its own agenda. This doesn't make it a front group! It is a group in its own right with its own goals.

captainmission
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May 14 2004 13:05

if any of yous are interested there's a gathering of people from local social forums around the country happening on the 21-22 may close to hebden bridge. Might be a good oppotunity to share experiences of SF and talk about alternative spaces at the ESF. check out http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/manchester/2004/04/289782.html

also is there any contact details for EASF so we can put them on the mancSF website?

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cantdocartwheels
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May 14 2004 13:28

I don't see how its being deceiptful (or stalinist ..) about our politics, people can see which organisations are a part of it. Surely pluralism is explicitly anarchist??

People aren't stupid, trying to shove the ''fuck the G8'' type politics into the front of the forum is treating people like they are stupid. Any sane person can take a look at the list of oragisations that make up the forum, its doesn't take a genius to figure out we're left wing and broadly anti-capitalist. I mean jeez the meetings will be in part ordganised by groups like ipswich anarchists. Its fairly obvious we're a bunch of ''hippie lefties'' or whatever.

The way the forum is supposed to function deals with ideas like direct democracy, so you can use the forum itself to spread that idea, of popular control.

Thats surely is the point fo the forum, it allows more dicsusion of ideas, allows us more means to put across propganada, not in the overwrought language of some protest clique, but in the fact that we'd be working with these people day in day out while we were propagandising and actions speak louder than words.

So say we're on colchester high street advertsing something or other, we could also have practical anti-capitalist propaganda, which is connected then with the community action, not with some idiot threoing a brick through a starbucks window. If you had a club/pub guie and had connections with people puttin on events and stuff, then you would be connected with having agood time, rather than being ''hippies''.

I'm not saying the G8 protest isn't vital, but can't colchester peace campaign organise that?

Also it isn't just about ideology its about community organising and class struggle, giving a sense of community action to a thousand people would be more useful than mobilising another 30 more people for the G8 protest.

john

Lazlo_Woodbine
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May 14 2004 16:53
Jack wrote:
But given that the majority of people a the meeting were against it being anti-capitalist, how are you going to do this?

I thought social forums were based around borad agreement -- so how can everyone 'decide' to have no anti-capitalism?...you should be able to have dissenting viewpoints otherwise there's no pint, you may just as well be a group, or an organisation, rather than a forum.

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cantdocartwheels
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May 14 2004 17:25
Jack wrote:
rich wrote:

I don't think things like the anti-G8 should be pushed to the fore - I think the EASF should have a more pro- stance, should be setting its own agenda. This doesn't make it a front group! It is a group in its own right with its own goals.

But given that the majority of people a the meeting were against it being anti-capitalist, how are you going to do this?

I mean seriously, if we are to totally leave capitalism alone, and not have any explicit anti-capitalism, then what are you gonna say?

How do you say what we're moving towards, without analysis why thigns are problematic now. If you're not going to say the problem is capital (which is what not being "explicitly anti-capitalist" entails), then how do you articulate a material basis for any argument towards a better world?

Yes you have to point out how the grievances people have translate as the conflict of interest between the bourgeosiie and the proletariat

but without people thinking of ''the working class and thinking positively of what peoples interests are, they are simply against the bourgeoisie, but they have no unifying ideas, nothing to fight for.

People have their greivances, and i think that yes it would be good to push propaganda on encouraging the concious working out of those problems. The g8 is simply leaping way ahead it has no real relvance to peoples day to day lives, simply because it is simply against something vague.

john

rich
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May 23 2004 13:32

Perhaps instead of an East Anglian Social Forum people would be more comfortable with East Anglian Anticapitalists... (This is a partly serious proposal - I think it might be good to have some kind of regional anti-capitalist or anarchist grouping.)