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(en) Britain, London, Call for Autonomous Spaces During the ESF in London, 14-17th October 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sat, 7 Aug 2004 17:01:01 +0200 (CEST)

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A call from a loose collective of people with either
one-foot in the ESF and one outside, and individuals who
have both feet firmly outside the ESF process.
The collective have been meeting at the Grand Banks Social
Centre and at European Creative Forum events so far, in London.
This meeting has taken the form of a spokescouncil, since it is a
meeting point for various peoples involved in the ESF in a variety
of ways from the automist side (e.g. communications).
We are a loose network of individuals, groups, organisations and
grassroots communities and who act, think and struggle for another world beyond capitalism.

We write this call to those in the UK, the rest of Europe and
those further afield to participate in building alternative
autonomous spaces around the European Social Forum, which
will be held in London during October (14-17th) 2004.

We want to create open spaces for networking, exchanges,
celebration, thinking, and action. We believe our ways of
organising and acting should reflect our political visions, and are
united in standing for grassroots self-organisation, horizontality,
for diversity and inclusion, for direct democracy, collective
decision making based upon consensus, and against the false
consensus in which power is used to silence others.

We do not have, nor represent, one single unified position on the

We are however, all united in the knowledge of the ESF UK
organising process as un-transparent, non-participatory, and
exclusionary. The UK ESF organising process has essentially
been controlled by the hierarchical and authoritarian Socialist
Workers Party, Socialist Action, and through the central
involvement of Mayor Ken Livingstone's Greater London

Because the organising process and methodology both in the UK
and at the European level has not reflected the values and
charters which the ESF aspires to, the ESF process is politically

However we wish to state clearly that we recognise, value and
support the energy, diversity, and experiences of those attending
the ESF.

It is also important to say that some of us have tried to work
inside the ESF process, fighting to "democritise" the ESF, and as
such, much of our criticism is borne from experience and cannot
be dismissed. Some of us believe that it is possible to rebuild the
ESF to make it closer to the ideals it claims, and to build a truly
participative process, others - after their experiences - believe
this is simply not possible. Some of us wish to go further and say
that the entire basis of the ESF is fundamentally illegitimate, that
it only represents a space for the co-option of struggles, and that
as such, it should be opposed. While others are aware of the
problems within the ESF process but don't wish to be defined by
them and are simply interested in working with organisational
processes that are more authentic under the statement "another
world is
possible". We all however are united in our diversity and in our
desire to act together in ways that respect these differences.

- we invite you to join us...

Following an international autonomous spaces meeting in Berlin
in June, where 70 individuals from 45 groups and networks came
together, discussions and planning has continued in London.
There are now several self organised and autonomous spaces
under construction - they range from legally hired venues to
squatted social centres.

An alternative programme of events will cover areas such as
precarious work(ers), asylum and migrant issues, community
organising, anti-war campaigns, environment, gender issues,
alternative media, and technologies of control - from copyright to
biometric ID cards, the the G8 - which comes to the UK next
year in 2005, and more... There will be film screenings,
alternative media centres, street theatre, parties, creative actions

We invite you to participate in the autonomous spaces, to help
shape them, to organise workshops, discussions, creative
interventions, and practical alternatives.

To get involved contact: autospace@yahoo.co.uk
Website: www.altspaces.net

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