[sheffield-anti-war-coalition] Re: [Ssf] Fallujah: murder televised on TV

IAN WALLACE ian.wallace15 at btopenworld.com
Sat Nov 13 13:12:18 GMT 2004

Thanks for that Jason. I STILL think that at least a part of 'the answer' lies in building local groups. Being a part of a local group means that all sorts of people might, or do, show interest. Those people need hanging on to! No matter how 'little politics' they might have at the start, they might very well be a very important part of 'the solution'. The objective (from my point of view) is not to push them away 'because they've got crappy politics' but to create situations where they might want to think about politics in a new way. 
I started 'discovering politics' in my early 20's, as a student on the Applied Social Studies course at Sheffield Poly. Prior to that I had all sorts of ideas, many of which I retain,  and 'getting politics' forced me to rethink some of my memory files. 
Its a journey. Happy travelling!
No time now because I'm just off to London for a whole day of discussion tomorrow, organised by International Socialism Journal, a day which will look very deeply into these kind of issues.
A possible problem with Sheffield STWC, Ssf, (etc) is that there is always the danger that they (we) become too internalised. Too much focusing on what is going on in that one small room rather than looking outside to the tens, hundreds, of thousands of people out there who do not come rushing into that small room, good job, but who have lots of thoughts and feelings which agree with ours. 
No time now,
Jase <spodulike at freeuk.com> wrote:

----- Original Message -----
From: "noone noone" 
hi jase
I never wanted to bash the stw group but i just felt that it was relevent
to express my experiences while i was participating in it and explaining why
i feel that particular avenue is blocked. Somehow i bet that if i suggested
direct action it would be turned down or ridiculed _again_ in favour of a
formulaic public meeting.


I agree STW has it's problems and many people's experiences are negative. I
think many people have come into the movement and found left wing groups
sitting there, ideology and political methodology already formed like a tank
of people trundling on. People can be dismissive of different ideas, I
remember someone in the early stop the war meetings (of about 150 people at
the centre for the blind - that *was* a movement) suggesting making paper
cranes to send to Blair (which has been done elsewhere) and nearly being
laughed out of the hall. Can't say I am innocent of trying to be 'more radical
than thou' but dismissal of ideas outside the 'mainstream' of the movement,
whether direct action or paper cranes or marches from A to B, is not right.
Different strokes for different folks as it were.

It is the primary reason why SSF needs to remain an open space because there
will always be people coming in from the world outside politics and activism,
as wide eyed as Neo looking at the Matrix with new eyes. I often forget how
far I have come, from the world of the Sun and football and changing channel
when the news comes on, to looking on the back of Rose's lime cordial and
finding it's made by coca-cola, and then not buying it! (dammit dammit dammit
did like that stuff:). It is difficult to relate to THE ACTIVIST who has found
THE TRUTH when wanting to work out how and why and what do I believe and so
on. I felt pretty intimidated on joining the movement, mainly because talking
about politics was so alien and others seemed to know everything whilst I just
had a general idea things needed to change. There needs to be acceptance of
views from all over and the fact that whether people are more or less radical
or more or less right, it is their intention that matters.

Copying STW into this again as didn't realise it was on both first time off.
Love to you all as well:)


"Hope is not the expectation that things will turn out successfully, but the
conviction that something is worth working for, however it turns out" - Vaclev

>From: spodulike at freeuk.com
>Reply-To: spodulike at freeuk.com
>To: ssf at lists.aktivix.org
>Subject: Re: [Ssf] Fallujah: murder televised on TV
>Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 19:15:15 +0000
>Cuthbert> The only real option is direct action which has
>unfortunatly been effectively condemned by the stop the war coalition.
>[rant]Have to say I'm getting a little tired of all the STW bashing
>around and abouts. The SWP (and some other members of this politico
>group or that, but not all thankfully) believe that direct action is
>not going to get the masses along, they are after all a political group
>and thus compromise for political gain. They quite happily block roads (
>which accomplishes bugger all in my view) when they feel the 'time is
>right'. In Shef and nationally SWP have usually had the majority in the
>movement (tho' often in Shef only by one or two people) which has led
>to the feeling this is 'just the way STW is', which is not the case. If
>people don't like STW as it is then they could come along and change
>the movement, or if they don't fancy the stress, form another one (as
>suggested I think). But the main problem is that the numbers of people
>who turn out for anything tend to be small. There was an idea for a 24
>hour vigil which I liked, but who will turn up? Alison proposed we
>argue for walk outs from work, but who will get involved? (based on the
>last time we asked for walk outs not a lot). So rather than bashing STW
>or SWP or anyone else who at least *tries* I would suggest people bash
>all the lazy f********QW"£E$ who sit on their arse sucking up the
>comfortable lifestyle given to them and who would never work towards a
>better world because they are too busy stuffing their face with the
>blood and tears of their fellow humanity [/rant].
>There was Grass Roots Opposed to War which was planned as a direct
>action group, but think that folded cos of lack of interest (atw?). The
>social forum could of course spin off a peace/anti-war group. The
>strength of the social forum model is no need for the majority voting '
>united front' led from London type thing - just what people want to do.
>Even if an action just makes one person thinks about the world in a way
>they haven't before then it's worth it (that's what I keep telling
>myself anyways:) so small groups are not the problem, all protest is
>good, it just won't be the mass movement most on the 'left' want.
>On another point, whats the "Peace in Troubled Time" thing about Dan?
>Have not heard about it.
>Cheers and love to you all,
>Ssf mailing list
>Ssf at lists.aktivix.org

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