And so the organisers of assemblies of ‘direct action’ must be more specific. As long as the boundaries of discussion are made clear on the call-out for the meeting – so nobody turns up under the impression that ‘what it means to be well-meaning’ will be on the agenda – this is no less democratic than defining a meeting in broad terms such as ‘anti-capitalist’, and much more effective. We should not be bashful about making our call-outs ideologically and politically precise, and in some sense exclusive. This may deter those who actively disagree with us, but what use are they in our meetings anyway? Genuinely open-minded newcomers need not be alienated. They should be welcomed but it must be made clear that attendance is on the basis that discussion of the pre-announced ‘points of unity’ is saved for another time and place. At the start of the meeting, a short explanation of the points of unity by the organisers could serve to answer frequently asked questions.
All credit to those who took the initiative and called tonight’s meeting, sorted out the room, and attempted the impossible task of facilitating it. This is by no means an attack on them but hopefully a model for more effective meetings in future.