Brett Hennig | 17.02.2004 17:52 | European Social Forum
12 February, City Hall 5.30-8pm
The meeting was chaired by Maureen O�Mara (NATFHE) and Alex Gordon (RMT). The
proposed agenda was agreed.
1 Minutes of the previous meeting (5 February) and matters arising
It was noted that the application form for the bank a/c would be sent to the
Co-op Bank on 13 February.
It was agreed that affiliation fees should be defined according to size and
membership of the organisations and that the Co-ordinating Committee would
develop a proposal for the next UKOC meeting.
UK ESF Organising Committee Statement
It was suggested that the statement be re-circulated following the agreed
amendments at the previous meeting.
Noel Douglas (Movement of the Imagination) will have different possible
designs ready to be presented to the Organising Committee in two weeks time.
Proposals for a legal structure are currently being considered by lawyers. A
report will be made at the next meeting.
Kurdish Federation Paper
The Kurdish Federation paper referred to in the minutes of the meeting of 5th
February will be circulated.
Establishment of Co-ordinating Committee
Jeremy Dewar proposed a constitution for the Co-ordinating Committee. It was
agreed this would be discussed at the next meeting.
Right of exclusion
It was agreed that the Co-ordinating Committee would propose a code of
practice and present it to the next Organising Committee meeting for approval.
A number of options were discussed with availability dependent on the date of
the ESF being agreed by the nest European Preparatory Assembly. It was agreed
that a preferred option on venue and date would be decided upon once the
Alexandra Palace feasibility study has been completed and presented to the
3. Fundraising and 4. Registration
A discussion took place regarding differing registration levels. It was
agreed that the Co-ordinating Committee will develop proposals for
registration fees and that all members will consult their organisations over
the appropriate levels.
A number of issues were discussed in relation to ensuring accessibility to the
ESF, including negotiating for reduced price transport passes, disabled access
and childcare. It was agreed that these issues would need to be addressed by
future meetings of the Organising Committee.
5. Involvement of Political Party Representatives
It was noted that World Social Forum Charter of principles excludes
representatives of political parties from participation in the process. The UK
ESF Organising Committee is based upon acceptance of the WSF Charter of
Principles. Representatives of political parties therefore cannot be delegates
to the UK ESF Organising Committee.
Roberto Ferdinand from the Brazilian Council of the World Social Forum spoke
of the purpose of the WSF process and clarified that any change to the WSF
Charter of Principles would have to be agreed by the next WSF. He clarified
that the WSF is a process involving organisations and social movements of
civil society not delegates from political parties or governments. Members of
parties can participate as representatives of organisations and social
movements of civil society.
It was noted that the WSF website states that �the governments that host the
WSF events can be partners in organising them. Members of governments and
parliaments may be invited to take part in a personal capacity, providing they
agree to abide by the Charter of Principles.�
In that context, it was agreed to invite the Greater London Authority to
participate as a partner in organising the ESF in London.
6. Programme Group Meeting 16 February
It was noted that no consensus was reached at the final meeting of group set
up on 12/13 December on proposals for ground rules and structure of the new
programme group, which will hold its first meeting on 16 February at 5.30pm at
Unison headquarters. It was agreed to refer the written report of the work of
the previous group to that meeting.
7. UK ESF Organising Committee meeting 29 February
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Organising Committee will take
place on Sunday 29 February at City Hall 12 � 4 pm. The purpose of the
meeting will be to agree the proposal that to be presented to the European
A proposal to hold a future meeting of the UK ESF OC in Birmingham will be put
to the 29 February meeting.
8. European preparatory meeting 6 & 7 March
It was agreed that the meeting will be held at City Hall, The Queen�s Walk,
London SE1 2AA from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday 6th March and from 10 am to 1 pm
on Sunday 7th March 2004.
It was agreed that organisations will look into alternative venues for future
meetings and send practical proposals, including capacity, cost, etc to the Co-
This is the report I unsuccessfully tried to give to the Organising
Committee last night. The item was placed low down the agenda and as usual
the meeting over ran time. The meeting had just enough time to decide that
the Programme Group meeting on Monday (5.30pm, Unison, 1 Mabledon Place)
will be constituted on the same basis as the Organising Committee (one from
each affliated group plus observers). The meeting on monday will discuss
recommendations for its remit, structure etc as well as, hopefully, taking
forward the programme on the basis of the recommendations and work done so
REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE UK PROGRAMME WORKING GROUP FOR THE UK ESF SO
13 Feb 2004 (version 2)
The Programme Working Group of the London 2004 ESF was established on 13
December by the European Assembly of the European Social Forum meeting at
the GLA on 12 and 13 December. The group has met three times (one a month):
13 December, 10 January and 8 February. Minutes for these meetings have been
circulated to various email lists and are available on the web in the list
No attendance list is available for the first meeting but following people
have attended at least one of the subsequent meetings:
Pete Ainsley, Camden Unison
Rachel Hodgins, Revolution
Phil Thornhill, Campaign Against Climate Change
Chris Keene, Anti-gloablisation Network
John Street and Julie Stolls, Babels UK
Jonathan Neale, Globalise Resistance
James Meadway, LSE students union
Sue Jones, Amicus
Tina Becker and Anne McShane, Communist Party of Great Britain
Dave Timms, World Development Movement
Sofia Roupakia, GSF
Mariangela, Manchester Social Forum
Alun Griffiths, Indymedia
Anna T and Sara Callaway, Global Women's Strike
Hannah Griffiths, Friends of the Earth
Stuart King , David Stockton and Luke Cooper, Workers Power
Wayne Jenkins, Cymru Europa
Daniel Cooley; Ecostruction
Alex Gordon, RMT
Mary Fee, Letslink UK.
Louise SW, GEN
Richard Hatcher - Birmingham Association of the National Union of Teachers
and representative of the ESF education network
Ken Jones, Socialist Teachers Alliance and representative of the ESF
Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper and Trans National Institute
Sheila Triggs, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (UK)
Sarah Colborne, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Georgiou Karatsioubanis, Greek Social Forum
Camilla Saunders, ESF Culture Group
Kofi Mawuli Klu
Remit of the Programme Group (PG)
At the 10 Jan meeting there was consensus that the programme group's job
isn't to agree the programme, but to facilitate the process of the programme
(themes etc) being agreed.
At the 10 Jan meeting the PG found it useful to divide its work into three
PROGRAMME STRUCTURE (includes discussions about the relative number and
sizes of the plenaries, seminars and workshops, themes of the programme and
additional 'signalling' to say if it is a debate, networking or strategy
PROGRAMME PROCESS (how the programme is going to be decided including the
timetable and process for deciding plenary speakers, deadlines for
submitting seminars etc)
PROGRAMME OUTREACH (how we pro-actively seek and facilitate groups to engage
in the programme eg producing guidance on how to organise a seminar or
mailing community groups, and how this meshes with fundraising etc. This
would include the letter we have already produced)
That meeting also explored the distinction between the jobs of the UK
Programme Group as one of many participating nations in the ESF and duties
we have to perform as hosts.
They may include:
Hosts: Facilitate the registering of semiars and workshops, exploring and
booking venues. Running the programme on the website. Facilitaing the
International Programme Committee. Hosting the Assembly of the Social
Participating nation: submitting ideas for themes and plenary speakers,
facilitating outreach within the UK.
There has been consistent consensus on the following items:
More women speakers on the platforms, aim for half the speakers in plenaries
to be women. No plenary can take place with no women speakers. Having women
as chairs is no substitute for women speakers.
There are not enough young speakers.
The seminars worked better than the plenary sessions. More plenary debates.
The topics of the plenary sessions should be chosen not to cover everything
important, but to provide good debates.
The organising of seminars should prioritised above the organising of
Seminars need to be given additional meaning by relating them to workshops,
giving them the facility to translate proposals into action
An alternative to the simple national quota system must be found. There was
no consensus on what this should be.
Open, unplanned spaces should be provided.
There should be a space for organisations and networks who come to the esf
late in the process to hold their own meetings.
There must be fewer plenary sessions and fewer speakers at each session.
(Some of wanted 20 sessions and a maximum of four speakers, others 30
sessions and a maximum of 6 speakers.)
No all-academic plenaries.
Cultural events must be more fully integrated into the programme for the
It is vital to ensure that grassroots activist's voices are heard on seminar
and plenary platforms as well as elsewhere (including in the process). Also
that thorough and well done outreach will be essential in ensuring
grassroots' voices are heard. The way to achieve good grassroots activists
is to properly do outreach.
More work must be put into facilitating the workshops, and get them
organised long before the ESF meets.
A more open, transparent and participatory system for merging the seminars
should be found.
Items of controversy
The follow items have be discussed and the Programme Group could not come to
a consensus decision:
Representation of youth at the ESF. Should there be a youth camp and/or a
How to decide the plenary speakers?
Should there be a womens' day the day before the ESF?
The exact number of plenaries and seminars, and the maximum number of
The composition of the Programme Group and its structure.
Items where further work needs to be done
Should the committee propose themes for the ESF to the Feb 29 UK organising
Understanding and clarifying the connection between the Assembly of the
Social Movements and the plenary programme and seminars.
How do we broaden participation in the program committee and in the
programme more generally?
We need to define the differences between plenaries, seminars workshops and
decide the relative resources to be provided for workshops and seminars.
The timetable and process for deciding and submitting seminars and workshops
must be urgently progressed.
Three hour plenaries and seminars should not be taken as given. They could
How to deal with the themes so that there is both crossover (issues aren't
ghettoised) and distinctiveness. We do not want to separate out the
different themes of war, environment, privatisation and so on too much. We
want meetings that bring the different themes together. The most important
thing about the ESF is learning how all these are connected. There is no
such thing as a single issue.
The meeting of 10 Jan decided to circulate an appeal to raise interest in
widening the net of organisations participating in the Programme of the ESF
The following groups responded by post:
Womens' International League for Peace and Freedom
Merseyside Stop the War Coalition
Haringay Trades Council
New Left Review
Jonathan Neale, Alex Gordon and Hilary Wainwright agreed to receive email
responses, they will report these to the Programme Group