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(en) Ireland: 10th Grassroots Gathering - August 2005

Date Wed, 27 Jul 2005 12:33:05 +0300

Since the winter of 2001 Nine Grassroots Gatherings have taken place in
Ireland, with discussion and organisation around a wide range of issues. Each
one takes place in a different city from the last and is organised by a
different group of people from the last. Grassroots Gatherings have taken place
in Limerick, Galway, Dublin, Cork, and Belfast.
The next one is to happen in North West Mayo on the weekend of the 27th and
28th of August. This will be the first Grassroots Gathering to take place in a
rural location, and is being organised as an initiative of the Rossport
Solidarity Camp (see:
http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=71079&comment_id=115717 ). The
Rossport Solidarity Camp will provide food and accommodation. A venue is to be

This, the Tenth Grassroots Gathering, is to have a very specific theme.

That theme is local community campaigns, that is, situations similar to that in
Rossport and the surrounding areas. To reiterate the theme is locally based
popular struggles of "ordinary people", the theme is not environmental
activism. This is not a judgement on the value of various issues but a
recognition that Rossport type situations have a particular nature different
from "activist" dominated social movements and it is those struggles we wish to
dedicate this Gathering to and from which we wish to learn from.

The Gathering has no cover charge and will take place over two days. The format
for the first day is workshops, that is a small number of speakers giving a ten
to fifteen minute talk followed by open discussion.

The workshops will consist of people from local community campaigns talking
about the different tactics, forms of organisation, and methods they have used
in their campaigns rather than a concentration on the issues.

There will also be some skills share workshops.

The format for the second day is plenary, that is open discussion around a
particular theme. In this case the theme is to be how can different local
community campaigns support each other and how can green/left activists support

The grassroots gatherings have aimed towards a network which would:

* Be based on the principle that people should control their own lives and work
together as equals, as part of how we work as well as what we are working

* Within the network this means rejecting top-down and state-centred forms of
organisation (hierarchical, authoritarian, expert-based, Leninist etc.). We
need a network that's open, decentralised, and really democratic.

* Call for solutions that involve ordinary people controlling their own lives
and having the resources to do so: the abolition, not reform, of global bodies
like the World Bank and WTO, and a challenge to underlying structures of power
and inequality.

* Organise for the control of the workplace by those who work there.

* Call for the control of communities by the people who live there.

* Argue for a sustainable environmental, economic and social system,
agreed by the people of the planet.

* Working together in ways which are accessible to ordinary people,
particularly women and working-class people, rather than reproducing feelings
of disempowerment and alienation within our own network.

Some information on previous Gatherings:

From the Irish anarchism discussion list

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