The ESF-UK is a sham, so what do we do about it?

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Jacques Roux's picture
Jacques Roux
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Jan 30 2004 10:34
The ESF-UK is a sham, so what do we do about it?

Ok so finally people are starting to realise that the ESF-UK (like the WSF etc.) is all a big sham (see http://indymedia.org.uk ) and that its all been organised and will run smoothly and properly how the state (and its supporters) want it to. Big ddeal, we knew that already.

But what can we do about it? What news of the alternative forum? Surely theres a need to detract attention from the main event adn try and build something out of the publicity and people it will attract.... whats to be done?

hehe siege the conference centre anyone? black bloc tongue

AlexA
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Jan 30 2004 11:26

Hmmm... well I'm not sure us lot are in a position to organise any kind of effective alternative gathering, unless some pretty big groups get involved, like the Green Party or some NGO that's got pissed off with the process...

Despite all the bullshit with the appalling "democracy" of the organising, it'll still probably be a massive event, which tens of thousands of people - mostly open to radical ideas - will be going to from all over the UK, and some from abroad.

I think that represents a great possibility of getting our ideas across. I haven't been able to get involved in the process, but for people who have, is it possible to organise meetings within the ESF?

If not we could organise a couple of fringe events... stuff at Freedom, LARC, Use Your Loaf, Conway Hall maybe? And we could do a big run of a special Freedom paper to hand out, with all the info about the libertarian movt here maybe?

anarchist.
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Jan 30 2004 14:31

Me and Tommy Ascaso were thinking about trying to organise a few alternative events, like the ones you spoke of alexa, seeing as organising an alternative libertarian social forum is a tad out of our reach.

will there be a big march like in Paris?

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Spartacus
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Jan 30 2004 16:48
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will there be a big march like in Paris?

and if so will we get to copy the french anarchists twisted (you need an icepick smilie here really...)

anarchist.
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Jan 31 2004 18:46

they werent all french...

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gav
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Jan 31 2004 19:45
anarchist. wrote:
they werent all french...

haha smile

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 1 2004 14:09

It's a toughie -- the unions and the GLa have the resources to pull off an event like this and we don't. So do we give the ESF legitimacy by involving ourselves in it? I'd say (through gritted teeth), yes, we should.

What will people be looking for when they come to a UK ESF? I think they'll be wanting to know about the UK's campaigning and direct action success stories -- which means that we should orgbanise events about the anti-GM, anti-roads and Reclaim the Streets movements, which have been some of the most influential things coming out of the UK for the past 10 years. The unions, SWP and the GLA have had no connections to these movements, so it's up to us to put things on.

revolt
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Feb 2 2004 11:44

I'd be up for starting to organise something now. I was at the esf in paris and it was really shit but the fringe anarchist type stuff was really good. I think having meetings in some of the spaces avaliable to us is a good idea. But if we do that i think one thing that is important is that we make it really accessible to people who don't speak english cos i found that as i didnt speak french it was a major problem.

Another thing that was going on in paris was the global disobidience space 'glad' I think it was called. It was really good it was just a bunch of tents and during the day they went out and did small direct actions and in the evening they had live music and cheap vegan food. it would be good if we could do something similar

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Ed
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Feb 2 2004 17:12

We could write a quick intro to Anarchism that takes up one side of A5/4 and on the other side has times for our events throughout the weekend.

Also, if people organise a series of meetings relating to various things the ESF are looking at (I don't know what that is but say unions, community politics, anti-cap/globalisation demos etc) and we hold fringe meetings relating to those we might get more people coming. Also, it doesn't just have to be meetings, we could do working class history tours or music/comedy/film nights at different social centres around London.

Just my two pennies.

AlexA
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Feb 3 2004 10:31

Yeah - for Mayday at Freedom we're printing a free 4-page issue with info about anarchism + anarchist groups and that kinda stuff related to mayday. We could do the same at the ESF, like you say with details of any circle A stuff going on like fringe meetings, film showings at LARC etc. etc.

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Jacques Roux
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Feb 3 2004 12:27
alexa wrote:
Yeah - for Mayday at Freedom we're printing a free 4-page issue with info about anarchism + anarchist groups and that kinda stuff related to mayday.

Offtopic: Is that for the TU march?

AlexA
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Feb 3 2004 13:14

nah mostly for street/tube distro in the week coming up to it - there'll be a paper for sale on the march, but we will prolly bring some of the freebies

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Feb 3 2004 19:31
Ed wrote:
if people organise a series of meetings relating to various things the ESF are looking at (I don't know what that is but say unions, community politics, anti-cap/globalisation demos etc) and we hold fringe meetings relating to those we might get more people coming.
Quote:

I disagree. If we hold meetings about the same issues as the TU/SWP ESF but with our anarcho 'angle' then all we're doing is offering a slightly different flavour of ESF -- we're still part of the left.

That's why I think we should concentrate on the things we do that no other groups do. Direct action campaigning is one of them, as are the radical ecological activisties I mentioned above.

We should start looking at venues now. Do we know where the ESF is to be held? The GLA were talking about boking Alexandra Palace. Myabe we could get abuilding nearby, or even part of the grounds or buildings of the place itself if the people inside the ESF meetings manage to carve out a chink for an alternative space.

And we should think about bands. Chumbawamba are an obvious one -- what about Asian Dub Foundation too? I think we all know enough musicians and DJs.

blackmasks
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Feb 3 2004 22:44

Is it really that bad that we are considerd part of the left.

We cant get dillusions of grandure, and think that people in england are open to this new "Post Left" politics, because at the moment, theyre not. I think that we should organise fringe meetings, with different slants than the SWP etc.... but the same ideas. Cos for anyone who dosent know much about @, its gonna be a bit offputting if we're holding meetings about NVDA and other stuff. And the "left" are holding meetings that most people will see as important. If we offer a different slant, it makes us at least look like a viable alternative.

revolt
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Feb 4 2004 13:04

isn't ther room for us to do a bit of both? confused

Yrwenot3?
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Feb 5 2004 13:16

Please don't invite Chumbawumba, unless they gonna throw a bucket of water over the cabal of Swpies and Ken Livingstone black bloc

That doesn't mean they have to 'perform' does it? smile

MattS
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Feb 10 2004 21:46

For your information.

Matt

********************

Please forward this proposal to european groups:

Proposal to form a maillist/network of antiauthoritarian groups to coordinate issues concerning ESF2004

We, activists in different Nordic anticapitalist movements, would like to propose to our “colleges” of anticapitalist/antiauthorian/zapatist/disobedient groups and collectives all over Europe to initiate some kind of coordination of our intervention in the European social Forum2004, - in the preparatory process as well as in the Forum event.

We think that the ESF provides a valuable space for participation and intervention of anticapitalist activist groups. A space where we can learn from all the social struggles that are represented, where we can compare, discuss and inspire each other among the many and broad organisation and individuals present. A space where we can develop regional coalitions or networks on specific issues - coalitions that goes beyond the usual boundaries of radical activists. A space to engage in common action bringing the Forum out of the Forum as we succeeded in Paris.

Having said this, we, of course, share the criticism of the forum put forward by other activist, that the forum suffers from lack of democracy and from the unbalanced influence of some dominant groups. This problem is definitely not minor in the actual UK-process, where there are reports of serious undemocratic behaviour from dominant groups

But we think the answer to this rather than just dismissing the ESF (and thereby the thousands of social movement activist present there), is a stronger intervention in the ESF – in the preparatory process as well as in the event it self. Until now activist groups of the radical/libertarian/zapatista/disobedience movement have been almost absent from the preparatory process, and have contributed very little to the Forum program. In order to be heard in the process and to be able to defend the original ideas of the Forum, and avoid its instrumentalisation, we think that some coordination of our efforts are badly needed.

So our proposal is to set up a mail list to coordinate our intervention in the preparatory process and in the forum itself. The mail list should be used for:

1) Coordination of our intervention in the Preparatory process:

- Coordination of our participation in the European preparatory assembly’s (The body that guides the national committee preparing next ESF). The agenda for the preparatory assembly’s should be send out on this list, so that the groups can discuss and make common proposals etc. (The next assembly will be held in London 6.-7. march)

- Coordination of common Pre-meetings before the European Preparatory Assembly’s. On this pre-meeting the UK groups will report about how the process are developing, possible problems etc. And we will try to coordinate our intervention on the assembly. After the meeting an evaluation among our groups will be held, to discuss the results and possible action.

- In case of serious threats of undemocratic manoeuvres etc, information will be quickly spread on the list, so that the groups can prepare for the next assemblies and initiate debate in the movement of their home countries to make visible the manoeuvres.

2) Coordination of our participation inside and outside the ESF

- Cooperation around participation inside the Forum Event. e.g. to make common plenaries and seminars during the forum.

- Coordination to set up autonomous areas outside, but not in opposition to The ESF ( As the GLAD in Paris)

- Coordination of actions, demonstration or common blocks in broader demonstrations.

Subscribe to the mail-list here: http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/esfdemocracy_eurodebate

In Solidarity:

Globale Rødder (Global Roots) – Denmark

Globalisering Underifrån (Globalisation from below) – Sweden

Autonomous Social Center Siperia - Finland

Augusto_Sandino
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Feb 23 2004 15:40

Ahem, pardon my ignorance, but what is the ESF-UK? im quite new to anarchist politics.

AlexA
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Feb 23 2004 17:41

sorry - it's the European Social Forum, which is in the uk later this year

www.fse-esf.org i think for more info - welcome to the boards! smile

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Jacques Roux
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May 24 2004 11:03

Info on London meeting to plan alternatives to ESF:

http://www.enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=12344

Vaneigemappreci...
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Aug 21 2004 12:24

Check out the www.wombles.org

i think the wombles are staging a 'beyond the esf' event at the occupied social centre in london, due to my poor knowledge of london i have no idea how close this space is to the financial districts or major squares, however it has to be a favourable alternative to the livingstone sponsored charade planned for the week. We could easily attract the more radical elements attending the official esf and initiate more constructive forums and actions.

caretaker
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Aug 23 2004 10:51

why do you anarchist appear to want to seperate yourselfs off from the rest of this HUGE international gathering. would it not make more sence to take your anarchist ideals and principles right to the heart of this movement. thousands of people are looking for an alternative to capitalism - makes more sence to me if we go to all the events we can loaded with litrature and contact details and start talking to people - find out where there at - discuss and influence them

staying on the fringes will continue to put divisions between us and the rest of the movement - most people think were scary - and standing on the outside shouting in buys into that myth - we will never win anyone to our cause that way.

the world we live in is fucked - many people think the world is fucked - only a small proportion of them are anarchists - some of them are trade unionists or socialists or marxists or whatever label theve been givin - the point is that the opposition to capitalism is divided and sub divided - we need to unint that opposition if we are serious about overthrowing capitalism -

and while im on a rant do you not think we can learn from the other groups of people at the event - is their nothing they can teach us - or do we believe we are the enlightened elite - to me no one group or tradition has the answer - if they did the world would be sorted by now - but were not therefore the answer has yet to be found - go to the event with an open mind - learn and teach and lets see if we can strive towards a solution together - unity is strength

Ghost_of_the_re...
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Aug 24 2004 09:46

A good point, and an definitely an argument for not shunning the whole project entirely. But when an event which is concieved as a formal challenge to modern economic politics is being run by the GLC you know something's not quite right.

Incidentally i think indymedia uk was worryingly biased on the subject-openly attacking the organisers. I wonder how many of you drew your opinions straight from there?

ffaker
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Aug 26 2004 23:37
caretaker wrote:
staying on the fringes will continue to put divisions between us and the rest of the movement - most people think were scary - and standing on the outside shouting in buys into that myth - we will never win anyone to our cause that way.

You make a good point, and I do think that it would be good if we had some sort presence at the official ESF. But on the other hand I can well see why the people who have been working their arses off within it to make it any good are so pissed of by how completely crap, hierarcial and exclusive the organisation of it has become. I also think you underestimate how deeply co-opted it has become. The MAYOR of London will be opening it.

OK: lets say I want to put all this behind me and help out in my particular area: computers. What exactly could I do to be involved? Er... not a lot actually seeing as they're bringing private companies to organise the computers and internet for the event. If I want to help in this respect, I have no choice but "the fringes" of the ESF, apparently.

ffaker
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Aug 27 2004 11:49

From the Minutes of the UK ESF Co-ordinating Committee. Date: Thursday 5 August 2004:

Quote:
Satellite Events

There will be a number of events going on across London that will not be official’ ESF events but would be of interest to delegates – these should be recognised in the programme some way. The idea of space on the website for people to notify of events was raised. Nancy Lindisfarne will bring a proposal to the next meeting.

Hmm... Seems positive, but will anything come of it? When I downloaded these about a week ago, they were the last minutes available on the site, so I'm not sure if Lindisfarne brought it up at the meeting after this one.

Wayne
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Aug 27 2004 15:20
Quote:
why do you anarchist appear to want to seperate yourselfs off from the rest of this HUGE international gathering

'Cos they're a bunch of cunts with poor levels of personal hygiene and bad dress senses.

Quote:
staying on the fringes will continue to put divisions between us and the rest of the movement

'The movement' can go fuck itself. Revolution is about emancipating ourselves from statist capitalist forces, not watching the fuckers wave red flags in Trafalgar Square.

Quote:
the point is that the opposition to capitalism is divided and sub divided

Leninism, Stalinism, the RMT leadership, Ken Livingstone, Liberal NGOs, Religious wackos, Nationalist wankers, handwringing charities... Where is this opposition to capitalism? This whole movement thing is bollocks. Mass working class action makes revolution, assorted state capitalists fuck it up.

Seriously, I was at the first ESF in Florence (I got a junket)... I wanted to hang myself. I've never seen so many STalinists, Maoists, COrsican Nationalists, Evangelical CHristians, Bureaucratic T.Us. I'm not in a 'movement' with any of them. My talk was pretty good but wink

Quote:
learn anything from them?

Nu, nothing.

Quote:
Unity is strength

No comrade, the struggle against fascsim begins with the struggle against Bolshevism. Ignore the ESF, it's wank. Talk to your workmates instead, or save your thirty quid and go out for dinner with some tasty wee thing you fancy wink

lucy82
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Aug 30 2004 10:27

I've been against the ESF as soon as it became apparent that it was a GLA/SL/GR/NGO jamboree (with the implication that "it means political parties and social democrats can attempt to co-opt and dominate for their own purposes, the new movement against capital".(stolen from the beyond esf email)... and also because they're a bunch of boring bastards.

but I think now I will go for the autonomous spaces around the ESF which involves film screenings, alternative media centres, street theatre, parties, creative action and protests etc..

I don't think this is separating the @s off from the rest. I hope it will be an exciting alternative for people who may want to go to the official ESF but will also take a look at self-organised, autonomous space around that as well as for people like me, who are completely allergic to GR/"red ken" etc.

There is an alternative programme of events being planned and people are invited to participate in making this happen.

the website is www.altspaces.net. You can get in touch with different groups involved from there. Its also worth reading the womble's analysis of the socio-political role of the WSF (World Social Forum) and ESF which is linked from the website.

Also theres a series of events/discussions in September to form the basis of planned events. Unfortunately all held in London, so I can't go angry For those who can info is at:

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/08/296958.html

bigdave
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Aug 30 2004 13:01
Quote:
'The movement' can go fuck itself

Are you the "Judean People's Front"?

Quote:
Leninism, Stalinism, the RMT leadership, Ken Livingstone, Liberal NGOs, Religious wackos, Nationalist wankers, handwringing charities... Where is this opposition to capitalism?

Well it seems to me that these groups are trying something. Your condemnation and hatred just looks like the now-familiar elitism of those who don't really want change, who'd rather sit blethering with similar types while reaping the benefits of exploitation. Is this your only plan to improve the state of the world? Wait around feeling superior until everybody else magically starts to think like you (god help us)?

Wayne
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Aug 30 2004 14:10
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Wayne, is there anyone in particular u were thinkin of when u said about a dinner date, meow!

Revol, we've talked about this before. I'm sorry honey, you know I respect you and admire your uncompromising stance on anarcho-primitivism but the X factor just isn't there. I'm really sorry but you know it would never work- I don't have a whip or a red army uniform... Besides, I am too busy reaping the benefits of exploitation. It's a lot of work supervising the immigrant children stitching footballs in my basement.

Wayne
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Aug 30 2004 15:37

Bitch.

caretaker
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Sep 3 2004 01:10

revolt68

quote]these groups are just that self important lil fucks on the make, how can .........the RMT leadership teach us or anyone anything about breaking capital when they are supporting pillars of it.

i dont understand your assertion that the rmt are supporting pillers of the establishment - what evidence do you base this assertion on. bob crow has been beaten up, even hospitalised due to his actions in the last couple of years, as you will be aware the thugs are the first line of the state in action, so even if you dont rate him the establishment see him as a threat. the rmt is a fairly democratic union and the leadership including bob represent the point of view of their members - and the masses are not yet radical enought for my taste, or i should imagine for bobs taste, but the job of union leadership is to represent their members interest and dispite the privitisation of the railway and the constant re-organisation and changing companies the membership of the rmt still enjoy fairly good terms and conditions. anybody remember double time for overtime for example - its not that i think the rmt are wonderful and have all the answers as ive said else where on this forum if any one individual or one group had all the answers the world would be sorted by now. but the rmt are not our enemy

Quote:
ill give u fucking penis envy!

penis envy - don make me laugh - why would a women want to trade the capacity for multiplee orgasism for the ability to piss staanding up - penis envy - a very male concept

wayne said

Quote:
No comrade, the struggle against fascsim begins with the struggle against Bolshevism.

why?