[Pga_europe_process] after ESF ... the gg in Ireland

m.reinsborough at Queens-Belfast.AC.UK m.reinsborough at Queens-Belfast.AC.UK
Mon Sep 27 21:29:08 CEST 2004

organizing request -

The weekend after the European Social Forum there will be a grassroots 
gathering in Belfast Oct 22-24th. Can some PGA people come and do some 
workshops at this- good opportunity to do some outreach and PGA people who 
came to ireland before (for example during the Irish ecotopia) were really 
helpful.(Particularly looking for a workshop on the G8 opposing Dissent 

Also- on October 19th there is a protest being organised at Dublin Arms 
Fair so those who are coming as far west as London might want to take the 
next week at some of the Irish direct action protests

The invitation letter is below- feel free to pass it on.

The 2nd Belfast Grassroots Gathering: an invitation

Sept 25th 2004
						(for contact details see below)

Following the success of previous gatherings throughout Ireland over the 
past three years the grassroots gathering will be back in Belfast over the 
weekend of 22nd to the 24th of October.

         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 towards. - 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 

The grassroots gathering in Belfast has been booked into Queens Students 
Union, located on University Road opposite the main Queens building. A 
theme this gathering hopes to tackle is building safe communities with an 
emphasis on undoing racism (both structural and interpersonal) and 
addressing gender bias and patriarchal structures and attitudes throughout 
society and within our social movements. There will be space to discuss 
issues pertinent to the campaigns coming out of grassroots activism all 
over Ireland, such as, anti-water charges campaigns, war resistance, 
environmental campaigns, the global women’s strike and the other issues 
brought to the gathering by the people attending. As always the success of 
the gathering is dependent upon the involvement of those attending. Between 
then and now here’s how you can get involved. You can pass this invitation 
on to people who support the aims of the gathering and would like to be 
involved. There are regular organising meetings in Belfast. If you would 
like to get involved or have suggestions for workshops get in touch, there 
is contact information below.

Signed with Solidarity & Autonomy,

the co-ordinating group for a grassroots gathering that will help prepare 
us to stop globalisation, war, capitalism and patriarchy dead in their 
Contact Information
To receive further information about this grassroots gathering contact:
 	By email contact us at grassrootsbelfast2 at safe-mail.net
Belfast - c/o PO Box 505, Belfast, BT12 6BQ
 	Telephone:   (UK) 07729785327
More information on the web at http://grassrootsgathering.freeservers.com
 or			         http://www.mallusk.net/grassrootsgathering

The Grassroots Gathering is a space for communication, learning and debate 
between people organising non-hierarchically for a new society in Ireland 
and worldwide. We include environmentalists, community activists, worker’s 
and consumer’s cooperatives, anarchists, trade unionists, feminists, 
cultural activists and others united in our rejection of capitalism and 
commitment to the voluntary creation of alternatives without coercion. 
Children are welcome at this event.

The gathering will include video showings, workshops, evening festivities, 
direct actions and presentations from all over Ireland and abroad, and a 
bookstall by Just Books. Veggie and vegan food will be provided by Belfast 
food not bombs, and free accommodation will be provided (bring a sleeping 
bag). Volunteers are needed each day for an hour or so to supervise play 
activities, help in the kitchen and clean up.

There will be workshops on the themes: • gender, queer activism, Global 
Woman’s Strike (March 8th), and other issues such as dealing with rape and 
sexual harassment in our communities. • racism, understanding white skin 
privilege, anti-racist/anti-fascist organising.

If you have experience in these areas and want to get involved in planning 
the discussions or presenting a workshop please contact us at 
grassrootsbelfast2 at safe-mail.net

Other workshops suggested or confirmed include:

•	politics, democracy & technology
•	water charges
•	student politics in Latin America
•	education workers network
•	fire your boss workshop
•	understanding different stages social movements go through
•	guerrilla/community gardening
•	food not bombs
•	bin skipping and recycling
•	the Dissent network (planning for G8 UK 2005)
•	bicycle repair workshop
•	wild food gathering
•	3 sided football
•	home brewing

If you would like to present a workshop or facilitate a discussion please, 
or have experience relating to some of the workshops listed, please contact 
us as soon as possible at grassrootsbelfast2 at safe-mail.net

We are also planning to set aside time for ‘renegade workshop’ space for 
shorter meetings, workshops and announcements.

We want people to get involved, we need help with cooking, children’s 
activities, providing accommodation (if you live in Belfast), facilitating 
workshops and discussions. Come along and muck in.
Web Links • The Grassroots Gatherings in Ireland 

•	Queens University Belfast Student Union	http://www.qubsu.org/contact.htm
•	City of Belfast				http://www.gotobelfast.com
•	City Map				http://www.belfast.net/mo/belmap.jpg		

Belfast City of Culture • Belfast Festival at Queens 
http://www.belfastfestival.com • Children’s Art Festival 
• Catalyst Arts http://www.catalystarts.org/ • The Vacuum/Factotum 

InterContinental Links • Global Women’s Strike 
http://www.globalwomenstrike.net/ • People’s Global Action 
http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/agp/index.htm • Dissent Network 
(Opposing the G8 in Scotland 2005) 
http://www.dissent.org.uk/content/view/62/52/ • Irish Social Forum 
http://www.irishsocialforum.org/index.php • European Social Forum (ESF) 
http://www.fse-esf.org/ • Autonomous Spaces (at the ESF) 

Irish Environmental and Social Movement Organisations • Gluaiseacht Network 
http://www.gluaiseacht.net/ • Workers Solidarity Movement 
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/wsm.html • Organise! 
http://flag.blackened.net/af/orgireland/ • Greenaction 
http://quis.qub.ac.uk/greenaction • Cork Autonomous Zone 
http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/wsm/ws/2003/ws75/caz.html • Campaign 
against Mallusk Landfill http://www.no-more-landfill.com • Direct Action 
Against Apathy http://www.geocities.com/RainForest/Vines/5944/


What Happened at the Last Grassroots Gathering In Belfast? There have been 
several highly successful Grassroots Gatherings across Ireland in the past 
three years. The previous Grassroots Gathering in Belfast held over the 
weekend of October 26th – 27th 2002, it brought together over one hundred 
grassroots activists, environmentalists, union members, feminists, working 
people, anarchists, children and other assorted troublemakers from across 
the island and beyond. There were almost 20 different workshops on a wide 
variety of topics including Gender, Direct Action, Social Centres, Opposing 
US Military Use of Shannon Air, Workers Control, Reclaim the Streets, 
Confronting Sectarianism, and Forest Gardens. It took place in Giros, which 
was a democratically managed social centre in Belfast, with gigs, meetings, 
a cafe, a darkroom, a library, and much more. Given the international 
situation, unsurprisingly talk about the war took up a lot of time. One 
excellent workshop was introduced by the Shannon plane spotters of 
Refuelling Peace. The discussion following this was mostly about schemes to 
establish a peace camp at Shannon, creating a democratic anti–war network 
and a call for a further demonstration at Shannon warport. These proposals 
were then taken to the Morning meeting, i.e. to all folk at Grassroots, not 
just attendees at one workshop. Many concrete plans and ideas emerged from 
the many workshops during the two days, including the formation of a 
grassroots network against the war, the staging of Reclaim The Streets, and 
the suggestion to host a People's Global Action conference in Ireland. In 
fact the only problem that seemed to occur was that of two or more 
interesting workshops coinciding and the sheer lack of time to attend 
everything. A special word of thanks has to go out to the Belfast crew for 
all their hard work and the organisation of this Grassroots Gathering. It 
was a roaring success thanks to their hospitality and meticulous attention 
to detail!

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