Anti-War Forum

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 11-10-04
Dec 13 2004 13:32
Anti-War Forum

Last weekend's meeting was quite productive. About 30-40 people attended and in the workshop on ongoing campaigns we realised that in fact a lot of different groups and networks were repesented in one way or another. As well as a large turn out from people from Glasgow there were also people from Edinburgh, Stirling and Perth.

Although Saturday was quite chaotic we did manage to sit down on Sunday and work out some things.

It was agreed to try and meet monthly to exchange information about events, activities and news and that we would circulate this information in the different groups and networks that we all belonged to, to try and strengthen support for each others activities.

It was also agreed to produce a calendar of events that could be circulated and printed out as a leaflet.

We also agreed to hold a demo outside of the US consulate in Edinburgh on 20th January - the day Bush is inaugurtated.

An invitation for all arms dealers, torturerers, Klu Klux Klan members, oil company directors, facists, tinpot dictators and all other rapers and pillagers to come and celebrate Bush's re-election in their best costumes outside of the consulate will be sent out soon.

A fuller report will get posted here and on Indymedia Scotland later this week. (And will get emailed out to everyone who attended.)

The next meeting will be again at Kinning Park on Tuesday 11th January from 6.30pm. (The room has already been booked!)

A group calling themselves Glasgow Anti-War Action have just spent the morning blockading Weirs Pumps. Weirs Pumps in Cathcart have won huge subcontracts from Halliburtons as well as jointly owning Devonport Management Limited along with Brown & Root, a Halliburton subisdary. DML run Devonport where the Trident nuclear missile submarines are re-fitted.

No-one has been arrested from the action. BBC news report is here:

Joined: 11-10-04
Dec 13 2004 13:50

You can also see the Evening Times report of the action with a photo here:

Joined: 8-10-04
Dec 14 2004 00:37

Well done guys. This goes to the heart of the military/industrial machine. If enough heat came their way, Wier pumps could be persuaded to drop their associations with Halliburton. Maybe we could ask their other customers to consider alternative suppliers.

ginger's picture
Joined: 19-07-04
Jan 12 2005 17:13

Actually, the following weekend's activity, on top of the forum had the cumulative effect of depressing me to the extent that I've had little energy for more anti-war activity since.

I was very glad that the event had been organised, and publicised it as much as I could. I provided accommodation for one of the speakers (who happens to be an old friend)

I'm involved in an active anti war group in Glasgow, and felt discouraged from distributing information about what our group was up to. (There was a timetabled slot for networking, although the facilitator made no attempt to concentrate this workshop on anti war activity, and all sorts of events were discussed).

I have been putting out weekly updates about all antiwar activity that I am aware of, including that organised by groups I have nothing to do with. The organiser of the forum, and distributor of the minutes which follow is not only aware, but subscribed to that list:

2. It was also agreed that we should try and produce a Calendar of events which can be circulated in both an electronic and printed form - if you have any information about events in Scotland in the future please send them into this email address and I will try to get them written up.

Where is the cooperation, trust-building mutual respect? Instead there is egotism, control freakery and an attempt to be the sole channel for all information. The person involved is no fool - he might play at being disingenuous, but he has been an activist long enough to know exactly what he is doing.

The positive outcome seemed to be a commitment by everybody there to work together.

The following weekend was a film screening by Rose Gentle, Camcorder Guerrillas and CND - considerable overlap with the organisers and attendees of the weekend forum. At this event there were packs given out to everybody, and encouragement to "not just see the film, but to get involved with anti war activity". Again, this event was publicised by Troops Out.

There was no attempt to either contact in advance, or facilitate on the day, other anti war groups to help announce the actual anti-war activities ongoing in Glasgow. The authors of the pack were well aware of, for instance, Troops Out ongoing pickets, vigils and meetings in Glasgow.

Instead there was information about how to join SCND, Camcorder Guerrillas and Campaign to Welcome Refugees.

Sectarianism is "a narrow-minded adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination" - acting in a way to promote your own group or individual interests, rather than what best promotes your stated aim.

Claiming to be anti-war, and then using every opportunity to recruit to your own sect is damaging to not just our small, sadly unimportant Glasgow anti war "movement", but more attrociously, ignores our responsibility to the ongoing massacre in Iraq. It is petty, distructive and contemptible.

Joined: 11-10-04
Jan 13 2005 00:29

Dear Ginger,

I organised the anti-war forum to actually bring together activists such as yourself and from other networks who I knew who wanted to do anti-war things.

I did it in my own spare time (it was never sanctioned by anyone else at CND) and with my own money with the help of a small group of friends also involved in anti-war actions but not with the Troops Out network.

As far as I am aware there has never been a formal request by Troop Out for help by CND to publicise your protests. I have done what I can unofficially

I wanted to put people in touch with other people. To link it with some sort of CND conspiracy is disingeous. If the event was organised by CND it would have been blatant for anyone to see.

The forum was meant to be a one off and not to replicate any other organisation. On the Sunday (when you weren't there) the talk had shifted and there was a lot of discussion about repeating the forum and I went along with that as did every one else present. People from the Troops Out Network could have suggested the email list but those present didn't. I'm sure other people would have been interested in knowing more.

As for control freakery I facilitated the opening meeting at which six other people spoke (for longer than me) followed by a discussion. I then facilitated one of six workshops and the closing workshop. On the Sunday the forum had started before I even got there.

There certainly wasn't any screaming or shouting or storming out of meetings because I didn't get my own way. And I didn't email criticisms of other people accusing them of 'sectarianism' because they didn't support this or that so I think it is a bit harsh to accuse me of 'control freakery' I did try to make sure that we managed to get the workshops done so that everyone had a chance to get to them but I don't think this was control freakery as such...

The other really imprtant aspect of the forum which I was disappointed about because I felt it was a failure was that I had hoped that networks would be stronger after the forum. Instead I watched people arriving with pre-set opinions about other people and not attempt to share information.

I watched one group who wanted to organise direct action go off into their group to discuss plans secretly whilst another group who had been putting a lot of effort into city centre campaigning kept to themselves...

I give up!

(PS It's rather unfair to blame CND for what did or didn't go into the Rose Gentle pack - this was decided by the Camcorder Guerillas with Rose. At the film show I made it quite clear whilst I was helping at the stall - as Camcorder Guerillas were meeting to discuss arrangements during the film show, that any leaflets could be put around, including copies of FTA, etc.)

Joe Hill
Joined: 2-12-04
Jan 14 2005 02:11

I'm afraid I couldn't make this particular meeting, but I think it is important that we continue to try to come together. As an outside, but interested, party, this infighting is offputting and divisive, although it won't stop me opposing what I know to be wrong together with likeminded others of whatever political creed (as long as they didn't support Solidarnosc of course).

Trust isn't built in a day, but personal criticism is best left to one side I think if we are to achieve anything meaningful. At least people are trying to do something - can we all put some effort into this as a collective issue at least? we should be supporting, not attacking each other, even if we have some issues (resolveable surely?). It seems so petty in the face of the horrors some people face daily on the planet.

Can you imagine an outsider coming into this forum and reading this (or, indeed the right)? No offence to anyone, but can we try to stick together for the common good?

Joined: 11-10-04
Jan 15 2005 19:25

Dear "Ginger"

I read through your posting again yesterday and realised that what had put your nose out (or whatever the saying is!) was the fact that I had asked for things to be sent to the address.

When I got round to writing up the notes from the meeting I had wondered what the best thing would be. At the meeting - as the bit you quoted says - we agreed that there should be a calendar produced in both electronic and hard-copy versions. BUT we didn't decide WHO was going to do this. I added the bit about people emailing to that email address as a stop gap until the next forum where it could be discussed. (That's why if you look at the bottom of the email you're quoting from you'll see I've put:

Suggested provisional agenda for the 11th January forum at Kinning Park, 6.30pm

(Can be changed on the night!)

- Welcome & introductions

- Aims & principles for the forum

- Practicalities (Managing email lists & Calendar & publicising the forums so that more people can get involved)

If you think I want to create any more work (or reasons for people to criticise me!!!) I think you're mistaken!

I'm glad you thought this:

The positive outcome seemed to be a commitment by everybody there to work together.

I think one very useful way of working this out is if the weekly updates about all antiwar activity you produce are then put together and printed out for distribution as well - that's something I could do easily from work.

We can discuss this at the next forum - when I know where it will be. I wasn't at the last forum but will try and find out what the details are...