Invitation:building support for action against climate change: 14th December, Manchester

What can we do to support and encourage radical action against climate chaos?

One of the follow-up meetings after the climate camp focused on what we can best do to support action taking place on climate change. There will be another in Manchester on Dec 14th.

We met at the Northern Eco-Action gathering in Bradford on November 11. At a productive and energising meeting, we came up with a list of concrete suggestions, and a whole load more questions to be answered. A report of
the meeting is attached.

We'll be taking these questions forward at a further meeting, which will look at what we can best do to support local actions and groups taking radical action on climate change, consider how best to stay in touch and share skills and resources. Proposals from this meeting will be brought to the next gathering in Leeds in January.

We'll be meeting in Manchester on Thursday, December 14, 11am-5pm. Bring food to share for lunch.
The venue is at Bridge-5 Mill (otherwise known as MERCi) - fully accessible & close to Manchester Piccadilly train station, details at http://www.merci.org.uk/visiting-b5m.php

We will be putting people's thoughts and responses online in the lead-up to the meeting. Two of these are below: one a report from a workshop at the EarthFirst! Summer Gathering, one the reflections of one of the participants at the meeting in Bradford. If you have something to contribute to the debate that you would like people to read before we
meet, please email it to actionsupport@climatecamp.org.uk and we'll circulate it to those who are coming.

If you want to read any other thoughts sent out before the meeting, or if you're likely to arrive late or need somewhere to stay, please email actionsupport@climatecamp.org.uk to let us know you're coming.

"Supporting radical action against climate change across the country

Report from meeting Saturday 11 November, Bradford Resource Centre
(Meeting to develop ways of supporting local climate action groups and actions, how to stay in touch and how to share skills and resources. Plus co-ordinated days of actions.)

We started by looking at what we need in order for lots of actions to be taking place.

Broadly speaking, they fell into two categories. The more abstract:

- inspiration
- buzz
- energy
- (feeling of) a critical mass taking part in actions
- sense of urgency
- hope

and the more concrete:

- people finding out about actions so they can get involved
- feeling of success (and publicising our successes)
- skills
- money
- information resources
- feeling of difference from approaches and tactics that haven't worked in the past
- lessening/avoiding/ability to resist state oppression
- strategic reflection

We felt that the more concrete needs would follow relatively easily if the first were met: people's energy and inspiration would mean that money is raised, information resources get researched and distributed, etc..

We identified as the main catalyst to inspiration and energy was positive reports of success from lots of actions taking place. So, the question became: where is the best place to concentrate our energy and resources to influence and establish the positive feedback loop that would lead to an escalation of direct action taking place?

As a precursor to evaluating this, we tried to list some of the more and less concrete things that would be likely to have this input, some steps that could be taken. This list is not comprehensive, but reflects the directions our thinking and discussion took on the day.

Resource packs
- briefings
- template actions
- press releases
- potential targets
- legal briefings
- reports of success stories
- leaflets
- stickers
- other merchandise: beer mats, branded condoms, lollipops etc.
- different modes of how local groups might organise
- potentially useful action tat (e.g. dinghies)

Skillsharing

Secure means of communicating and networking

Convergence
- face-to-face meetings
- parties
- big actions
- treeplanting

Publicising actions
- print media: ours
- EF! update
- schnews
- local newssheets
- print media: others' (we provide the stories, they publish)
- liberal press (often keen for stories, sometimes sympathetic)
- more mainstream press
- cascading, decentralised methods, e.g.:
- word-of-mouth
- stickers
- graffiti
- email
- film showings
- web-based
- EF! action reports
- indymedia
- indymedia climate
- rising tide
- climate camp
(also use of email and web for distribution of paper-based media)

Ways in
- distribution of newssheets
- distribution lists
- people to help!
- friendship networks
- local groups contacts -- publicised (not necessarily a group: can be person(s) up for stiff if more want to get involved)
- public meetings and gatherings
- presence on demos, at conferences, festivals
- big, advertised public actions
- stalls
- gateway actions/groups
- roadshow

Kickstart actions
- local
- bigger

Identity
- network identity rather than movement identity
- heterogeneous membership
- existing networks
- individuals
- groups
- friendship groups

Note on local organising (particularly relevant for contacts and for resource packs)
All local groups are different, and what works somewhere might not be the best way of organising in a different area. There are lots of successful ways of organising, including
- one 'action group' with a broadly consistent membership but changing focus, perhaps doing actions under different banners
- different groups with people who attend more than one as informal links
- different groups with a forum in which they come together
- there is no local group, but people occasionally come together to do stuff
We shouldn't be prescriptive: there are as many sorts of local organising as there are local groups.

The way forward from here:
The main task ahead is to work out how we can best use our resources for the greatest effect. This goes both for which areas we prioritise, and how we can best tackle each area. In looking at, say, web-based publicity, we need to look at what it is we need to fulfill our aims, evaluate whether any of the existing fora meet these aims, and if not, if it would be possible to transform them into something more useful for our purposes, and the likely effort involved in this (worth comparing with, say, resources to set something up from scratch.)"

"NOTES FROM EF! Summer Gathering Workshop:
Building a movement for climate justice beyond the Camp for Climate Action

Most interesting is section 3 - HOW WOULD THE NETWORK BE ORGANISED?

1 WHAT SHOULD IT ACHIEVE?
* Dismantle the fossil fuel industry (and therefore Capitalism)
* Place CC at the center of social thinking/culture in wider society, not just us
* Provide support for each other – knowing that others are working on the same issues
* Develop renewable energy, decentralised around the country, locally run
* Develop and set up workable alternatives
* Awareness raising and education
* Work to reduce consumption/demand – also means reshaping how we think about economic growth/progress
* Focus on aviation/aviation as a new anti-roads movement?
* Focus on Nuclear be ready for nuclear new build with strong arguments and analysis

2 WHAT WOULD THE NETWORK DO/ HOW WOULD IT BE DIFFERENT?
* Direct action!
* Building housing co-op movement, urban/rural links to re-localisation
* Radical analysis not pissing about
* Think long term re-localisatiom (within the movment also)
* Working in communities allotments, residents groups.
* Works with NIMBY groups re aviation/nuclear.
* Links with majority world.
* Find weak points in system now increasingly info/communications rather than physical spaces.

3 HOW WOULD THE NETWORK BE ORGANISED?
* Need a group/named network to feel part of, to feel belonging and sense of support
* Setting up new network seems inefficient why not use whats already there Rising Tide Network? has basic structure in place, communication and decision making structures, news-sheet, web-hosting, etc., international element RT North America, Australia, etc
* No time for lobbying government
* Use social centres
* Gatherings for decisions making
* Regionally based support for local individuals

4 WHAT NEXT?
* Recognise that people are motivated to come together to work on a specific action or project, rather than form a group for the sake of a group
* So harness the energy coming out of the camp by calling for everyone to take part in specific upcoming actions it is this that will kick-start local groups
* Oct 3-4 Day of Action coinciding with G8 Energy and Enviro ministers meeting in Mexico (called by Rising Tide North America) soon but maybe good because there will still be a buzz on after the camp
* Oct 21st Shell sponsored Wildlife photographer of the year award RT is doing a tour of the country with people from Shell affected communities (eg. Rossport, Nigeria), along with an alternative exhibition, in the run up to the award winner being announced on Oct 21st. RT will only be able to get to a few cities people who come to the the camp could be part of/expand this?
* February 2007 possible International Day of Action against Shell (called by Rossport Solidarity)

* Another camp? Maybe local camps are more sustainable, so no big camp next year but lots of small regional camps.

* Also recognised that some new local groups will need support Rising Tide might be able to help, or at least help link up people who need skills/training with people who could provide this"