Evolution of the Bristol Social Forum : Minutes 21/09/05

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Joined: 10-03-04
Sep 22 2005 18:51
Evolution of the Bristol Social Forum : Minutes 21/09/05

Hello everyone,

Here's some notes on the Bristol Social Forum meeting of 21st Sept 2005.

1.) Part One - Open discussion on recent strike actions.

2.) Part Two - Evolution of the forum / Future meetings.

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The first part of the meeting - an open discussion on recent and current trade union disputes at Rolls Royce and Gate Gourmet - is in part summed up by Anna Stavrianakis of Campaign Against Arms Trade.

"...we had an interesting discussion about the Jerry Hicks campaign - largely all agreed that the issue of what it is the Rolls Royce workers make and the tension between supporting workers but opposing warmongering was not made an issue of in the campaign. The BSF would be keen to support any public meeting we have around the Jerry Hicks/arms trade/jobs/ foreign policy issue, as a way of trying to make links between activist groups in Bristol." Anna Stavrianakis, Bristol CAAT.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bristolcaat/ & http://www.caat.org.uk/

It was noted that while the Rolls Royce strike action unfortunately failed, the Gate Gourmet dispute is an ongoing dispute. As a result Social Forum supporters are urged to donate to the Gate Gourmet Hardship Fund.



As both the Rolls Royce and Gate Gourmet disputes are seen to be supportable actions of the Bristol Social Forum, it was agreed to donate £10 to each from BSF funds - currently about £100 - and that to support campaigns of the moment should be a purpose of the forum.

People are encouraged to read more about these disputes.

Gate Gourmet: http://www.sackedbygategourmet.org.uk/index.htm

Jerry Hicks: http://www.union.coreoperations.co.uk/rolls/



A warm welcome back to Patrick, who suffered a stroke earlier in the year, just as preparations for our launch began. Our launch was nearly derailed, but we continued, and launched on 30th April 2005.

Since then we have not resolved the question of how to structure ourselves as a forum. This has been against a background of broad agreement on our purpose as a forum. As seen by our constitution.


In part this delay has been caused by a lack of volunteers to do core jobs, and with the return of Patrick this shortage has been resolved. And so, we have decided to take the step of formally assuming the positions of a core organising group to push the Bristol Social Forum forward.

Jim Kinnaird : Secretary

Patrick Spackman : Treasurer

James Venables : Communications (electronic)

These positions will be opened to election within one year of this step being taken, during which time the decision making process and structure of the forum will be discussed and resolved.

In the meantime, we recognise that this can be challenged at any time, which would trigger an election process, and the forcing upon the forum of the need to speedily resolve the question of it’s structure and decision making process.


More details on future meetings will follow soon. Please get in touch with suggestions of themes for meetings. If you would like to speak at any of our events please get in touch too.

Email: housingaction@yahoo.co.uk

OCTOBER: Wed 19th Oct from 7-9pm. Open discussion on the theme of "Oil and the Economy." Venue: '1 in 8', 160 Gloucester Rd. Map:


NOVEMBER: Wed 16th Nov from 7-9pm. With invited speakers and discussion on the theme of "Crisis In Political Representation". Venue To Be Confirmed. Please get in touch if you would like to speak.

Email: housingaction@yahoo.co.uk


We will look into setting up an additional web forum for the Bristol Social Forum, with the intention of encouraging debate on all levels as well as providing publicity space, and free file sharing between and for groups around Bristol and the south west.

Through our current e-group we are currently in a position to offer groups around Bristol an additional outlet of 350+ subscribers. We aim to build on this principle of offering free, non hierarchical, services to all groups who wish to make use of the Bristol Social Forum.

~~~end of message~~~

James Venables

(Bristol Social Forum Communications)