Fwd: Community Action Gathering: March 27th 2010

Mark Barrett marknbarrett at googlemail.com
Fri Mar 5 20:47:29 GMT 2010

Fyi.. Hope to see lots of Diggers there! Apols if this already got
posted here. Let's get this party started. Mark

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: communityactionnetworkuk at googlemail.com
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 2010 15:45:08 +0000
Subject: Fwd: Community Action Gathering: March 27th 2010
To: Common Place Membership <cpmembership at thecommonplace.org.uk>,
greenaction at lists.riseup.net, kathryn at seedsforchange.org.uk,
self-propelled-community-organisations at googlegroups.com

email communityactionnetworkuk at googlemail.com<communityactionnetworkuk at googlemail.com>

join the list!  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CommunityActionList*

***Community Action Gathering
*Sat March 27th 2010

11am - 5pm
Sumac Centre, Nottingham
245 Gladstone Street, Nottingham NG7 6HX

- how best to organise and take action?

*To all radical, community-orientated local groups and individuals
throughout the country…..

Dear friends

We are inviting you to a UK-wide Community Action gathering in Nottingham on
Saturday 27th March. The aim of the event is to share information and
experiences, and exchange our views as local activists. Obviously, there's
only so much that we can do at one event. But we hope to work out how to
promote the concept of community action effectively, to establish better
links and communication channels among local groups, and encourage new ones
to flourish all over the UK. That way we will be more effective and be able
to make a real difference in our communities.

- Which issues should be our main priorities?
- How do immediate practical concerns link to the need for fundamental
social change?
- What is our relationship with local residents’ groups and broad-based
- Are we having the effect we’d like?

This event aims, through workshop discussions, to:

· share information, local experiences and views about some of the key
issues affecting our communities
· establish better links and communication channels among radical,
community-orientated local groups and individuals
· promote collective and non-hierarchical, open and horizontal forms of
· promote anti-authoritarian, anti-state, anti-capitalist and pro-community,
pro-working class grass-roots politics - that is, the interests of people
rather than of governments and corporations!

The full Agenda and workshop themes are set out below. An informal social
event is also being planned for the Saturday evening at the Sumac Centre
(which in any case has a bar).

Please fill in the questionnaire below so we know roughly how many people to
expect. You are invited to add the following details:

· Would you like to help introduce one of the planned discussions (see the
list of workshops below)?
· Do you need us to arrange accommodation?
· Can you make a donation towards the costs?

best wishes and solidarity

-  some members of the Community Action elist
CAG 2010 c/o James <communityactionnetworkuk at googlemail.com>

*Note: Feel free to join the list!
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CommunityActionList  When doing so please let
us know your name and where you live.


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


*Please fill in and return to CAG 2010 c/o James <
communityactionnetworkuk at googlemail.com>

*Yes, I / we hope to attend ……..

*Name of group [if applicable] ………………………………………

We expect around ……..  of us to attend.

We’ll need accommodation: Friday …....    Saturday .....  [number]

We’d like to help kick off the discussion on [workshop theme] …………………………....

Contact: Name ……………………………..

Address …………………………………………………………….

Tel …………………………..    Email …………………………………………

Donation  ££ ___  (just bring along to the gathering)



*11am         *Arrival / refreshments. Discussions about the agenda.
*12 noon             Introduction to the event. Brief introduction and very
brief reports from each group present.
1pm                   First workshops/discussions session [See list below]
2.15pm           *Break for refreshments
*2..45pm             Brief plenary
3pm                   Second workshops/discussions session [See list below]
4.15pm              Report backs from discussions. Plenary on how activists
can work together better to support our communities and local struggles… How
do we promote the concept of community action, and develop and expand our
5pm           *End and clear up

*Evening          Informal social

*Note: if requested, we might be able to organise an ‘overflow’ discussion
on Sunday 28th, around midday…

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


1. Fighting for the local services and facilities we need
2. Our neighbourhoods - improving our streets, our local environment and
community spirit
3. Decent and affordable housing for all
4. Regeneration, gentrification and planning
5. Local workplace struggles and issues

SECOND SESSION - strategies
6. Community centres and social centres
7. Interaction with residents and existing residents’ groups
8. Councils - how should we relate to them?
9. How to set up local groups
10. Communication techniques and strategies (newsletters, mailing lists,
leaflets etc)

*For all discussions *

* -  what are our long term aims and what can we do in the here and now to
work towards them? -  What are the existing struggles, campaigns and
grass-roots groups which show the way forward?*

1. Fighting for the local services and facilities we needHow do we put
pressure on those controlling community resources and services to get the
improvements we need - education, healthcare, leisure facilities, parks,
playcentres, community centres, council services etc? Should our communities
take them over? If so, how? What is the role for user groups? Can people set
up their own services?

*2. Our neighbourhoods - improving our streets, our local environment and
community spirit
*What kind of neighbourhoods do we want? How do we get safer, greener and
friendlier streets? How do we get rid of ugly and oppressive features
(billboards, speeding traffic, mobile phone masts, too much concrete etc)?
How can we build up community spirit and neighbourliness, and 'take
ownership' of our areas?

*3. Decent and affordable housing for all
*How can we ensure decent housing for all. Can homelessness be countered by
occupations of empty homes and buildings? How can council house residents
defend public and 'social' housing against privatisation and gentrification,
and fight for more control over their homes? How can private tenants and
mortgage-payers stand up to landlords and money-lending institutions etc.
What are the pros and cons of housing co-ops?

*4. Regeneration, gentrification and planning
*Can regeneration and 'urban development' benefit our communities? If so,
how can people ensure their real needs are addressed? Is regeneration often
a cover for gentrification and undermining working class areas and
facilities (threatening established housing, green spaces, pubs, community
centres, small shopping parades etc) - if so what can be done about it? How
are communities resisting private developers and unwanted mega-projects?

*5. Local workplace struggles and issues
*How do workers and workplaces link into community issues and struggles? How
can communities directly link up with and support local workers, and
vice-versa (eg. community boycotts and industrial action etc)? Should we
work with trade unions or encourage independent workplace self-organisation?

*6. Community centres and social centres
*What kind of meeting places do local communities need? What are the pros
and cons of existing community centres? Where else can people get together
(clubs, pubs, cafes, parks, playgroups, church halls etc)? How can radical,
self-organised social centres really make a difference in local areas?

*7. Interaction with residents and existing residents’ groups
*How can activists communicate better with our neighbours and our local
communities? How do we interact with community-based groups of all kinds
(especially residents associations and others who are committed to their
communities)? What kind of activities can bring people together in a
positive way - eg. single issue campaigning, public meetings and
discussions, local festivals and street parties, informal sports, picnics,
pub quizzes etc? How can such activities help build up a culture of local
independence and resistance?

*8. Councils - how should we relate to them?
*What attitude should community activists have towards councils? Councils
exercise huge influence over how resources (etc) are allocated - how do
people work towards real local control and self-management over all
decision-making and resources? Is it possible to support local pro-community
and pro-working class election candidates and at the same time emphasise the
limits of municipal democracy? Or is it better to lobby Council officers and
councillors from the outside, or just ignore/boycott them and rely on direct
action? In the absence of mass-participation how does a local group gauge
its support in the community?

*9. How to set up local groups
*Is there a fundamental difference between local 'political / radical'
groups and local 'community' groups, or are they complementary forms of
self-organisation? How can such groups spread to every locality, especially
in predominantly working class areas? Can community-based single issue
campaigns lead to permanent local organisations? How do we ensure that such
groups are independent, inclusive, accountable to their communities, take up
a wide range of relevant issues, and promote mutual aid and solidarity?

*10. Communication techniques and strategies (newsletters, mailing lists,
leaflets etc)
*What practical methods are the best ways of spreading information, building
up communication channels, and encouraging and inspiring people to get
involved in the life of their community and to join in with local groups and
campaigns? What are the benefits of leaflets, public meetings, newsletters,
minutes, email lists, websites, door-to-door visits/questionnaires, notice
boards, posters, phone trees etc?



James Holland


James Holland


James Holland

"We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet /Yet is
there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.”

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