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(en) Workers Solidarity #76 - Grassroots Gathering 5 - the birth of a movement

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 9 Aug 2003 09:06:36 +0200 (CEST)

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The Grassroots Gathering is a weekend series of
meetings and social events which brings together
anti-authoritarian left wing activists. This summer saw
the fifth one in two years and with over 165 people
registering for this one (27th-29th June, Dublin) we can
finally say that there is a movement of libertarian
activists, a movement that has rejected hierarchical ways
of organising. The previous Gathering had happened in
Limerick in the middle of the fight against the war and
suffered as a consequence.

This time the Gathering was organised by an independent
group in Dublin and was very successful. The idea of the
Gathering is to create a space where activists who are
opposed to neo-liberalism (or what most of us recognise
as capitalism) can come together and meet, discuss ideas
and suggest actions. The GNAW (grassroots network
against the war) came from one of the previous
Gatherings, and it established itself as one of the few
groups prepared to use direct action to confront the
refueling of US bombers in Shannon.

What is very noticeable about the Gatherings is the fact
that there is a healthy respect for the differing views
present. We are coming from different perspectives but it
is not a talking shop. You know that the people who
attend are intent on making a difference and are actively
trying to do that. The non-hierarchical libertarian nature of
this event really makes it a wonderful starting point for
someone who is interested in finding out more about what
they can do if they want to change this world and at the
same time don't feel it's necessary to join a Party with an
all-knowing leadership.

The Gathering got off to a flying start with a puppet show
explaining the complex history of struggle in Argentina.
Yes, quite a few were skeptical upon first hearing about
it, but it turned out to be an excellent way of letting us
know what's going on half way around the world. This
was followed up by a question and answer session in
which Argentinean activist, Graciela Monteagudo, said
that solidarity was well and good but if you are fighting
capitalism the best thing that we can do is build the
movement at home.

To give a full detailed report on everything that happened
would take too long but there were 6 plenary sessions,
twenty workshops, a video room, social activities such as
soccer and Indian head massage, and a gig on the
Saturday night. This event is a social one as well as an
educational one. Importantly, we also build for the future
and there were many working groups set up to deal with
the planned but now cancelled visit of our invisible rulers
known as the World Economic Forum.

At the end of the weekend I walked out of this gathering
knowing that we were beginning to build the movement
here. We came out of this weekend stronger and will
hopefully go on from here so that the growth of the
Grassroots movement continues. The next GG goes
West, Galway in the Autumn.

Dermot Sreenan

See also

* The anarchist movement in Ireland

This page is from the print version of the
Irish Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.

Print out the PDF file of this issue

Print out the PDF file of the most recent issue

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