[ssf] Hello from Dan

atw againstthewar at totalserve.co.uk
Mon Jun 13 22:09:07 BST 2005

Hi Edward,

I doubt I'll be able to make the meeting on the 30th since I may well
be on the way to bonnie Scotland.

However I would like to make a couple of observations regarding your


Of your goals the suggestion of creating a global parliament seems to
immediately exclude those people who support horizontal forms of

Historically these are some of the most important groups in the UK of
recent years. In particular Reclaim the Streets and Earth First were
key in organising the first mass direct action against the G8 in
Birmingham in 98 and, in 99, June 18th in London, the first really big
global day of action in 40 countries across the world. These actions
were inspirational to those in the US who went on to organise the N30
actions against the WTO which itself led to the birth of Indymedia,
now probably the largest all volunteer organisation in the world.

Horizontally organised actions against global institutions continued
often co-ordinated through another important non-hierarchical network:
People's Global Action. This itself came out of a big global meeting
with the Zapatistas in Mexico back in 1996, yet another horizontal
group. Later attention and protests focused against the World Economic
Forum were also key in the birth of the World Social Forum and local
social forums that followed.

So, to suggest creating a global parliament as a goal you are going to
immediately alienate many activists, groups and networks that brought
world attention to the global institutions you are against. I assume
this is not your intention.


To bring groups together to coordinate actions seems a worthwhile
though difficult goal that might work for somethings and not others.
The underused Sheffield Social Forum did a pretty good job of setting
up an infrastructure which is still more or less in place. It sounds
like you are trying to recreate something fairly similar and I'm not
sure I understand what the point would be.

A lot of work and energy went into setting up the SSF and I think if
other groups made it their own too it would become even better.

Anyway those are my thoughts on your suggestion, hopefully some food
for thought.



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