Time to book your place at Breaking the Frame

Ned Ludd tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sat Apr 5 01:49:16 BST 2014

The Breaking the Frame gathering is just under a 
month away and it's time to book your place at 
one of the most exciting events of this year. 
Don’t delay, places are going fast! We need your 
participation and input to help us take a leap forward in radical politics.

Databases and data-mining: a favoured method for 
security and law enforcement agencies Chris Jones 
Statewatch Image from The Guardian The documents 
released by whistleblower Edward Snowden on the 
US National Security Agency (NSA) and the UK’s 
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) 
have revealed the vast extent of state 
surveillance undertaken in secret in the name of 

http://breakingtheframe.org.uk/  see dates and full programme  below

Whether you’re interested in the politics of 
food, energy, work, environment, gender, peace, 
economics, health, etc., all these issues are 
shaped by choices about technology made by 
military, corporate and technocratic 
elites.   The aim of the gathering is to change 
the debate about technology, environment and 
society, and to put the politics of technology 
where it belongs, at the heart of radical 
politics.  It's about a broad social and 
political vision, not just a long list of issues 
raised by technology.  And we will do more than 
just talk about the issues: we aim to found a new 
network on the politics of technology, a new 
critical mass that will change the whole debate.

If you’re part of a campaigning group focusing on 
a single issue and you’re not sure how this event 
will help the work of your group, please consider 
these points: single issue campaigning can only 
be really effective if it’s based on a broad 
understanding of the forces creating the problem. 
In addition to being shaped by military and 
corporate interests, technology has its own 
ideology and dynamic that is a major source of 
the problems caused by technologies. If we ignore 
this, we are constantly left reacting to problems 
created by technology, rather than proactively 
addressing the source of the problem. The 
gathering is about breaking the frames that keep 
each campaign separate and making the links between our different issues.

The gathering won't just be talking and thinking 
- there will be hands on workshops, music, poetry 
and time to explore the beautiful grounds of 
Unstone Grange and the surrounding Derbyshire 
countryside.  There will be childcare available 
during the daytime so parents can fully participate in the gathering.

We are still looking for speakers in some 
workshops, so we are open to your suggestions for 
speakers or organisations that we should invite.

For more on the ideas behind the gathering and to 
check out the growing list of organisations 
supporting it and taking part, visit the 
information page.  You can book online, or print 
and post the registration form.  We aim to ensure 
that no-one is excluded for financial reasons, so 
we are subsiding places to make sure the gathering is as cheap as possible.

Please help us publicise the gathering by 
tweeting (follow at framebreaking) and forwarding 
this message to relevant email lists, facebook groups, etc.

We look forward to seeing you at Unstone Grange on May 2nd to 5th.


May 2nd-5th 2014  Unstone Grange, Unstone 
Derbyshire (near Sheffield). Click here for travel info.

Organisations supporting BTF: Luddites200, 
Corporate Watch, Scientists for Global 
Responsibility, Gaia Foundation, Biofuelwatch, 
Boycott EDF, Rising Tide, Japanese Against 
Nuclear UK, The Land magazine, Occupy London 
environment working group,  Action AWE, Knickers 
to Nuclear, visionon.tv, Genetic Engineering 
Network, Low Impact Living Initiative, Campaign 
Against Climate Change, The Green House Think 
Tank, Occupy London General Asembly, Veggies 
Catering Campaign, Mast Sanity, Stop Smart Meters.

Our system of industrial capitalism is in both 
economic and environmental crisis.

Part of the cause of these crises is the 
technologies that we use – although they do of 
course bring benefits, technologies are largely 
designed and controlled by corporate, military 
and technocratic elites to serve their interests 
and exert their power. So, in order to really 
face up to those crises we need a new politics of 
technology, a politics that goes beyond the myths 
that technology is just a neutral tool, or that 
technological advances necessarily bring progress.

We want to overcome the fragmented single-issue, 
reactive approach that dominates the way we deal 
with technology. Technology is a major force 
shaping the whole development of our society, 
including the issues you work on, yet we never 
have a debate about it until it’s nearly too 
late, e.g. when Monsanto starts putting GM soya 
in our food. We think it’s time for a much more 
systematic and joined-up approach to technology 
that overcomes the democratic deficit in this 
area. We need to develop a new approach, based on 
bringing together the insights of different 
campaigns and movements, sharing skills, and learning from each other.

The need for a systematic approach to technology 
is more urgent than ever as we face environmental 
crisis caused by 200 years of industrial 
capitalism. Moreover, a range of new technologies 
looks set to make radical changes to our economy 
and society.  Developments in artificial 
intelligence/robotics, combined with 
nanotechnology, genomics/synthetic biology and 
neurosciences are posing what are now being 
described, even amongst technocratic elites, as 
‘existential’ threats to society and the 
biosphere over the coming decades.  Here is a 
brief summary of the Ideas behind the gathering. 
Watch this space for more on the politics of technology.

The Breaking the Frame gathering is a step 
towards creating the new politics of technology. 
We will be bringing together campaigns on the 
technology politics of food, energy/climate/ 
environment, work/economics/austerity, the 
military, the internet, surveillance health and 
gender, as well as trade unionists, radical 
scientists, artists and developers of alternative 
technologies. The aim is to learn from each other 
and to build a new network, to strengthen 
campaigns and make issues about technology more 
central in radical movements. Amongst the 
principles of a new critical discourse on technology are:
Opposition to technologies that are ‘hurtful to 
Commonality’ (i.e. to the common good, including 
the environment) and to ‘technofixes’ for social problems
Support for technologies that help to satisfy 
real human needs and empower the powerless e.g. 
some renewable energy technologies
Technology should be developed under democratic 
control, rather than under the control of private interests and the military

Some of the issues we’ll discuss include:
What does a critical politics of technology mean 
in the 21st century: democratic control or ‘low technology’?
History of industrial society and environmental 
crisis; challenging the concept of progress through technology
Experiences in different campaigns and struggles
Alternative visions of social and technological 
development, and the transition to a sustainable and socially just society.

Confirmed speakers include Simon Fairlie (editor 
of The Land magazine), Jerry Mander 
(International Forum on Globalisation), Hilary 
Wainwright (editor, Red Pepper), Theo Simon (Stop 
Hinkley), Danny Chivers (No Dash for Gas).

Draft programme

There will be demonstrations and workshops on 
craft-based production, poetry, music, walking etc.

If you are interested in the gathering please 
email us at luddites200 at yahoo.co.uk. There will 
shortly be an online booking system for the gathering.

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