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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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Hide the following 3 comments

bombast and balderdash

26.10.2004 13:25

What another bit of bombast from a professional hater of the SWP .Has this scribe got a job with the Daily Mail or what?
This guy is writing venomous balderdash .What needs to be repeated loudlyand clearly is that it is a disgrace to the movement for masked individuals to "enter",actually they used the word "storm" initially large meeting of the ESF and attack the joint secretary of "Unite Against Fascism" and disrupt a plenary meeting called to oppose fascism and the far right in Europe.Those speakers from the Roma community who were waiting to talk about their experiences of being attacked by their baiters from the far right must have been very dismayed and angry at this masked assault on the stage.


rant and rage

26.10.2004 15:09

This is another rant and rage by an anon womble.
SWP members are involved in numerous anti racist campaigns and have been so involved for very many years.Our comrade Blair Peach was brutally killed by SPG police while helping to defend multi ethnic Southall against the racist National Front who were intent on invading the area.What a disgusting slur by someone who does not know the difference between slander and fact.
The violent attack on the joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism was a reprehensible act by masked individuals who are now trying, without success ,to justify their violence.



27.10.2004 10:18

You are lost in your own dogma Huw.

THe trouble with you and your swipper ilk is that you cant believe it when people dont agree with you. After all you are the vanguard aren't you? Leading the working class to the promised land of life without Blair and Howard where the SWP rule is law?

When the reality confronts you, that the people of this country really aren't down with your outdated ideas and beliefs you stamp your feet and clutch at anything to knock the detractors. Why else were ESF organisational meeting swamped to the point that the grassroots decided to hold their own event? Even this the SWP knocked and gloated over saying the numbers were few etc... Huw, has anybody told you that competition is a bad thing and one of the cornerstones of capitalism?

Not content with this a successful protest that was against the GLA its leader being a member of the Labour party is actually slurred as being a racist assault by white males. The non-british woman speaking for Babels in the video on the scottish imc must be quite surprised by this revelation....

Face it, you are over - your spin and lies has now put you on equal footings with Neo-Labour.