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Dublin Social Forum Plans For 2005

category national | irish social forum | news report author Tuesday January 11, 2005 20:44author by Barry Finnnegan - Dublin Social Forum (DSF) Working Groupauthor email feedback at IrishSocialForum dot orgauthor phone 085-1423454. Report this post to the editors

DSF To Focus Down To A More Local, Dublin-Based Level.

Dublin Social Forum (DSF) Working Group minutes from post October 2004 ISF and December meetings.

NEXT MEETING: 7.00 to 8.30 p.m., Thursday 13th January 2005, in the Comhlámh offices, 10 Upper Camden St., Dublin 2.

In general it was agreed that the October 2004 ISF was actually more of a DSF. That is to say that the groups, organisations, collectives and individuals that participated and did the background preparatory work were primarily Dublin-based and were not in fact reflective of the global justice movement / anti-neoliberal forces on the island as a whole. In light of this and in conjunction with the learning experience a number of us had in Workshops with Local Social Forums from around Europe during the European Social Forum (ESF) in London last October, we decided to bring the focus down to a more local, Dublin-based level.

The idea here is to stick to our knitting as it were, build the Social Forum at a more meaningful local level, to walk before we run, and from there it may be possible to encourage and interact with budding, intermittent and existing Social Forums around the island, following which it may be possible to talk meaningfully about an all-island Irish Social Forum at some future date.

So here is the plan so far for Dublin Social Forums in 2005:

- to have smaller one-day events around a particular theme, rather than two and three day events on many many themes.

- to hold the one-day Dublin Social Forums in a city centre venue on a Saturday from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm consisting of: three simultaneous Workshops from 11.00 to 1.00; and then in the afternoon from 2.00 to 4.00 to hold a round-circle Plenary consisting of short presentations from pre-arranged speakers reflecting the diversity of global justice movement / anti-neoliberalist sentiment on the particular theme, followed by short reports from the Workshops earlier in the day, followed by facilitated discussion and input from all present.

- it is hoped that by taking this approach it is more likely that those groups, organisations and collectives that organise and participate in the Workshops will encourage their own members/constituencies to participate in the Forums and take ownership of the event, rather than sending speakers to some abstract national event where some voluntary committee will organise an audience.

- it is also hoped that by taking this more local approach, the Dublin Social Forum can become a semi-regular [few times a year] space for the global justice / anti-neoliberalist groups and individuals based in the city to meet each other; engage in genuine dialogue; identify similarities and differences of analysis, strategy and objectives; and to further build friendships, links and active and meaningful solidarity.

Dates for three such events for February, April and June 2005 were suggested.

Proposed themes included: Waste Management and the EU Constitution. It was agreed not to be too prescriptive about themes at this stage and to seek input from as many people and groups as possible as to what people want to talk about at the Forum.
DSF Contacts:
Phone: 085-1423454.
Email: feedback@IrishSocialForum.org
Web: http://www.irishsocialforum.org

Note: as ever, the Dublin Social Forum and the DSF Working Group meetings are held under the auspices of and in agreement with, the World Social Forum Charter of Principles, available at: http://www.irishsocialforum.org/newswire.php?story_id=23

Minutes compiled by Barry Finnegan.

Related Link: http://www.irishsocialforum.org
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