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BEYOND ESF - quick report

WOMBLES | 25.10.2004 11:13 | European Social Forum

BEYOND ESF was a success in my opinion, organised by a small group in relied on self-organisation and particiaption to make it happen.

Maybe people would rather here the numbers to judge whether our initiative was a success or not. But what the numbers don't say (we estimate about 1,500 people came down by the way) is the genuie political interactions and experiences that people had. Firstly though I liked to say that it wasn't a party space, we had over 80 workshops (see for programme) that discussed issues on the changing nature of capitalism in terms of work regimes (precarious labour, informal economies..), control (ID cards, police repression, CCTV..), No Borders & Migrant Struggles (No Borders assemblies, Stop-IOM, Refugee Forums, Travellers rights campaigns..) and Social Struggles (YO MANGO, Creating free public transport, free-appropriation initiatives...) as well a DISSENT! G8 workshops and assemblies and Zapatista talks.

The size of these workshops and discussions ranged from around 40 people to 300 people, so were well attended and the level of participation and interaction was on the whole quite high compared with usual meetings.

Secondly, we promised to co-ordinate some of the direct actions during those days which happened successfully. Before every action we held open assemblies to discuss the content of the action as well as the practical and legal info. On Thursday, 200 people occupied with ease the Eurostar terminal under the banner of "Freedom of Movement for all" (A slogan that Lee Jasper and the SWP anti-racist racists will never use!!). This action was done in solidarity with the action at Calais by the french network NO VOX! some of whom are San Papier migrants who couldn't travel to London for the ESF due to Ken Livingstones Racists Labour Party. Around 160 NO VOX! people did manage to get to London and stayed at one of the WOMBLES accommodation squats opened up for the BEYOND ESF.

THere were also an action, free party tube ride which people from Scandivania organised which I wasn't on but went ok-ish. Saturday afternoon we held a meeting of around 150 people to organise the storming of the palace action, the action itself was called by WOMBLES but was made of dozens of groups and over 200 people. After the stage was occupied and people made some speeches, a spontaneous march of around 400 people left Ally Pally and headed to the BEYOND ESF space.

Ok so I probably forgot alot of stuff but hopefully my fellow WOMBLES will add some stuff. But one last thing I have to mention is the EXCELLENT anarchist teapot who provided meals by donations (read free for all you blaggers!) for 5-days and nights.


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Display the following 3 comments

  1. bombast and balderdash — huw
  2. rant and rage — Huw
  3. Unbelievable