Public Meeting, 18 November
Many thanks to everyone who came along to Tuesday’s public meeting in the Blue Lamp. Lots of good discussion and energy for moving forward.
We’re developing working groups to focus on specific areas or issues, as a way of ensuring the autonomy and flexibility to get things done. People are welcome to get involved with as few or as many of the working groups as they like, and to start new ones. On Tuesday we introduced the four main working groups we’ve got at the moment, and folk had suggestions for additional areas we can pursue.
Nortfield Community Working Group: aims to facilitate connections between local people who want to work for change, to make connections between local issues and wider politics, and bring a radical slant to existing organisations in Northfield. There will be a public meeting on Wednesday 10 December at the Northfield Community Centre (organising meeting 3 December). A team of people is needed to help advertise the meeting by knocking doors of our existing contacts in Northfield. Get in touch for more info.
Anti Fracking Working Group: aims to raise awareness of issues around fracking and take action to oppose it. Fracking is connected to lots of other issues, including climate change, pollution, property laws, animal rights, etc. Possibility of film screenings, educational meetings, etc. Still in very early stages. Get in touch if you’re interested in being involved with this group.
Land Reform Working Group: aims to raise awareness of issues around land ownership in Scotland, and work towards reform to make land ownership more fair and democratic. Community buy-out rights were a good start but don’t go far enough. Land reform has been redefined to include both rural and urban areas, which is a positive development. A recent report from the Scottish Parliament suggests further possibilities including a land value tax, capping the size of estates, ending the business rates exemptions for large estates, and devolving the Crown estates. The group is in very early stages, but a meeting is planned for 4 February. Also, Andy Wightman is speaking near Strathdon on Thursday 27 November. Get in touch for more info.
Website/Social Media Working Group: aims to build on the good social media presence we’ve developed through the blog, twitter and facebook, and contribute to creating radical alternative media in Scotland. Content will be drawn from the efforts of the other working groups, so the role of the media group is also to help publicise, promote and document the work of the other groups. We’re in the early stages of developing a new website, and there was a lot of discussion around types of media, from videos and podcasts to ‘old’ media like pamphlets and newsletters. We also discussed linking with other groups that are building alternative media in various ways, like SHMU, Common Weal and Bella Caledonia. If you’re interested in getting involved with any aspect of the media group, please get in touch.
Beyond the projects that have already started, folk at the meeting also discussed the fast food workers’ campaign which has been very successful in the US. Speakers from this campaign were very inspiring and it’s an issue that a lot of people care about. We’ve helped support actions in Aberdeen but there is a need to continue building that movement for a reasonable minimum wage, ending zero hours contracts, etc.
There was also an offer to put on lectures and workshops for community activists critiquing the current economic system and highlighting alternatives, and the desire to put on educational events was a recurring theme.