Liverpool is now beginning to follow suit. There is a great deal of latent political anger and creativity in Liverpool and Merseyside. From the historical roots of trade unionism and strong links with Irish struggles, to more recent events and developments such as the generous support for tsunami victims, the farcical European Capital of Culture success, the recent social workers strike and the re-emergence of fascism all contribute to what is potentially a hotbed of radical and progressive political activity.
However, to date, the movement, despite its size, has been fragmented and therefore weakened by its lack of cooperation and coordination. This is where the Liverpool Social Forum finds its roots; in the midst of a large, but distant body of opinion on Merseyside.
The LSF itself arose from some of those who attended last year’s European Social Forum, and who saw the potential for one on Merseyside. Those who went, saw both good and bad aspects of both the ESF and Autonomous Spaces, and wished to form a reworked social forum that took positive, and addressed negative, aspects of the ESF.
Having already held one meeting in December, there was an excited air of anticipation for what such a project would hold in store. It is a chance for people to address local issues together, with the full force of the movement, and to unite under broad principles of justice, freedom and equality for all. Ideas already discussed have included a re-launch of Critical Mass bicycle rides, actions against the occupation of Iraq and mobilisations against the G8 summit in July.
The next meeting of the LSF will take place on Tuesday 18th January at 7.30pm in the McAusland Lounge, Liverpool Guild of Students, Mount Pleasant.
All are welcome: Environmentalists, anarchists, socialists, gutter punks, skaters, students, housewives (and husbands) syndicalists, trade unionists, and anyone else who is interested.