Space(s) at ESF 2004
autonomous is as autonomous does.
e-list for Autonomous Spaces during and against the European
Social Forum 2004 and its process - click
Groups organising Autonomous Space during the ESF.
ESF - the wombles
media, culture and communication
Autonomous Spaces During the ESF in London, 14-17th October
are a loose network of individuals, groups, organisations
and grass roots communities and who act, think and struggle
for another world beyond capitalism.
write this call to those in the UK, the rest of Europe and
those further afield to participate in building alternative
autonomous spaces around the European Social Forum, which
will be held in London during October (14-17th) 2004.
want to create open spaces for networking, exchanges, celebration,
thinking, and action. We believe our ways of organising and
acting should reflect our political visions, and are united
in standing for grassroots self-organisation, horizontality,
for diversity and inclusion, for direct democracy, collective
decision making based upon consensus, and against the false
consensus in which power is used to silence others.
do not have, nor represent, one single unified position on
are however, all united in the knowledge of the ESF UK organising
process as un-transparent, non-participatory, and exclusionary.
The UK ESF organising process has essentially been controlled
by the hierarchical and authoritarian Socialist Workers Party,
Socialist Action, and through the central involvement of Mayor
Ken Livingstone's Greater London Authority. Because the organising
process and methodology both in the UK and at the European
level has not reflected the values and charters which the
ESF aspires to, the ESF process is politically bankrupt.
we wish to state clearly that we recognise, value and support
the energy, diversity, and experiences of those attending
is also important to say that some of us have tried to work
inside the ESF process, fighting to "democritise"
the ESF, and as such, much of our criticism is borne from
experience and cannot be dismissed. Some of us believe that
it is possible to rebuild the ESF to make it closer to the
ideals it claims, and to build a truly participative process,
others - after their experiences - believe this is simply
not possible. Some of us wish to go further and say that the
entire basis of the ESF is fundamentally illegitimate, that
it only represents a space for the co-option of struggles,
and that as such, it should be opposed. While others are aware
of the problems within the ESF process but don't wish to be
defined by them and are simply interested in working with
organisational processes that are more authentic under the
statement "another world is possible". We all however
are united in our diversity and in our desire to act together
in ways that respect these differences.
we invite you to join us...
an international autonomous spaces meeting in Berlin in June,
where 70 individuals from 45 groups and networks came together,
discussions and planning has continued in London. There are
now several self organised and autonomous spaces under construction
- they range from legally hired venues to squatted social
centres. An alternative programme of events will cover areas
such as precarious work(ers), asylum and migrant issues, community
organising, anti-war campaigns, environment, gender issues,
alternative media, and technologies of control - from copyright
to biometric ID cards, the the G8 - which comes to the UK
next year in 2005, and more... There will be film screenings,
alternative media centres, street theatre, parties, creative
actions and protests...
invite you to participate in the autonomous spaces, to help
shape them, to organise workshops, discussions, creative interventions,
and practical alternatives.
get involved contact: email@example.com
you in London!