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Plans To Go Monthly With Scaled Down Dublin Social Forum

category dublin | irish social forum | news report author Thursday March 02, 2006 20:07author by Barry Finnegan - on behalf of those involved in the Irish Social Forum (ISF) Working Groups throughout 2003 and 2004author email finnegan.barry at gmail dot comauthor phone 085-1423454 Report this post to the editors

"Stop Talking About The Social Forum And Just Do It!"

Despite the goodwill towards the ISF, throughout 2005 there was a quite limited number of activists willing to put in all the work required to stage big one to three day type Social Forums. In light of this, activists involved with the working groups of the Irish Social Forum in 2003 and 2004 have proposed to focus on the local: the Dublin Social Forum, and to hold the event monthly and in the evenings. 30 people may come, or 150, well see! [Dates of first one and next DSF meeting are below.]

The purpose of these monthly gatherings would be threefold as follows:

1. - to publicise, find out about, discuss and ask for help in ongoing local campaigns in the Dublin area;

2. - to have a monthly space where active activists and newcomers to the movements can find out about and hook in to the developments and debates at the European and World Social Forums; and,

3. - to participate in a forum of challenging critical dialogues with wide representation from the various sectors and strands of the movements (thats to say, the: global justice / antineoliberalist / anticapitalist movements).

Notwithstanding the desire to, (a) stop talking about the social forum and just do it; (b) to not forget the social in the Social Forum; and (c) to continue gathering under the auspices of the WSF Charter Of Principles [http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/main.php?id_menu=4...age=2]

Part of the demand for such forums, springs from the observation that sectors of the movements, be they trade union, development, hard-left, environmentalist, libertarian, gender, human rights, etc, tend to meet each other at their own meetings, protests and conferences, and that one of the things we need collectively, is a challenging open space to learn from each other, to try to convince each other to support each others perspectives and campaigns and to perhaps learn to work together better for the collective benefit of all our struggles.

To date, the Irish Social Forum has maintained itself as a pluralistic and open space where it is widely accepted that no one group, party, sector or ideology (other than acceptance of the WSF Charter of Principles as an organising platform for the gatherings) has dominance, and as such it is hoped that these proposed monthly Dublin Social Forums (DSFs) will become regular challenging, critical, informative events from which learning, clarification and co-operation may come.

It was noted that the ISF Working Group has 1,000 in its Credit Union account. [Money came from: The ATGWU didnt charge us for the use of the hall back in 2004, and many people gave solidarity donations at the door.] It was agreed to spend half this in a financial solidarity fund which will send an activist who otherwise couldnt afford to go, to the ESF in Athens this May. The other half will be used so that if premises need to be rented in the future for DSFs that we can afford to hire them without having to financially hassle people. Annual webhosting fees must be paid too.

Below are a list of potential themes suggested for the monthly DSFs. It is proposed that those very interested in a particular theme, could meet to organise two or three people to get the forum going, make a list of suggested readings and brainstorm on groups/people who may be interested in coming, or indeed, really should be there to participate.

Themes suggested: Freedom of speech, 1916, civil liberties, global north/south, gender, Good Friday Agreement, clash of civilisations (not!), theory and ideology, revolutionary music, community relations, activism, environment, Europe, neoliberalism. A large range of subtopics was also suggested within these headings.

- by Barry Finnegan
To get on DSF elist mail: finnegan.barry@gmail.com
The website is still not back up! Its along story, and so, we need someone to rebuild the site! Volunteers?
Next organising meeting:
Thursday 9th March, 7.30-9.00pm, in the Comhlmh offices, 10, Upper Camden St., Dublin 2.

Dublin Social Forum planned for:

Friday 31st March 7.00-9.00pm, Teachers Club, Parnell Sq., Dublin 1:
- Rough Guide To The European Social Forum (what is it, main issues for discussion, why should people go, etc)
[plus, participatory forum on Activism (where is it going, how many kinds are there, etc?),
plus, round-up and announcements of local campaigns, protests etc].

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