PGA Conference Daily Newsletter 3
Wednesday September 4, 2002

Today's Agenda

Final plenary, part I
(Strategy + Process Introduction)

Groenoordhallen . . . . . . . . .10-00-13:15
Final plenary, part II
(Process Discussion & Ratification)

Groenoordhallen . . . . . . . . .14:30-17:45
Get involved in PGA!
LVC attic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20:00
Call for groups to take on networking

House announcements

Get involved in PGA!

After this conference we hope to continue the PGA network with fresh energies. To advance the PGA networking process, we need more groups that get actively involved and put their energy and creativity in it.

We ask all those groups that are interested in becoming a local PGA infopoint or want to do support work for maintaining the PGA network, to come tonight to the LVC.

There will be an exchange of information on infopoints and the kind of work involved with developing the network. Also, a short overview of different kinds of support work you can do, will be given.

Skill sharing

During lunch break at the entrance of Las Vegas cafe, behind the info-point: short and informal presentation (with pictures) of Escanda, a skill-sharing space in Asturias, northern Spain.


Thursday morning the camp-site has to be empty and clean before 15.00. Breakfast is served by Rampenplan until around 10.00h, at Koppenhinksteeg. People that have left stuff at the info-point are asked to pick it up by Thursday morning at 11.00

Thanks to all!

This conference has not been able without your help. Please spread the experiences, inspirations and information you gathered during this European Conference of PGA in your local reality. All personal belongings left behind (creditcards, money, cars and computers) will be considered as donations for the future development of the PGA Process.

Thanks EuroDusnie

The Plan for the Plenary

Today's final plenary of the Second European Conference of Peoples' Global Action aims at bringing together the main discussions that came up during the conference. It is an opportunity to tie together diverse strands that had been discussed in the plenaries and workshops.

The agenda and timetable as suggested by the facilitators, is to be found on page six and seven in full detail.

The facilitators plan to begin with the strategy bloc. This will take up the first two hours. People who took part in the strategy debates will present a discussion paper which has been prepared as a summary of the strategy debates. The contents of this paper can be found at page four and five. It is not intended to be a final statement on any of strategy topics. The idea is rather to give a 'snapshot' of the current debates, as they have surfaced in the conference, and stimulate an ongoing process of reflection. During the discussion, people can give comments, analyses and presentations of other projects.

After the strategy debate (before lunch) the facilitators want to begin the debate on the process of the European PGA network. This debate is expected to take up the rest of the time of the plenary. The plenary will be asked to ratify several suggestions for future structures and working models of the European PGA network. These suggestions are the result of extended debates in the process discussions, where different opinions and arguments have been put forward. All of these suggestions were agreed upon by consensus within the process working groups. In the plenary, we aim to reach consensus on each one of them.

Here are the suggestions in very general lines. The centrefold of this Conference Paper (page six and seven) contains them in full.

PGA Structure I: Info-points

This is a proposal to increase the accessibility and visibility of the PGA network. Groups can become 'infopoints' to provide contacts, information and coordination.

PGA Structure II: Convenors

As no-one has offered to be a new convenor, MRG and EuroDusnie will continue their convenorship for the time being. They will organise an open meeting this winter, and everyone hopes that by then someone will put themselves forward. The tasks of the convenors have been made clearer, but more decisions should be made in this winter meeting.

PGA Structure III: Support Groups

PGA Europe will re-launch support groups, which will assist the convenors in their tasks. The identity of these European support groups will be visible and their workprocess transparent.

Global Contacts

Concrete tools for networking such as a global maillist and directory.


A suggestion to redefine the caravan99 list as a list for action announcements and reports, and to create two new lists - one for discussions and one for the support groups' coordination. A working group meeting will be announced to discuss the future of both the pgaconference and the 'global archive' websites.

Notes from pga-redactie

the conference draws to an end, we want to thank everyone that participated, and especially all volunteers who have helped with logistics and the programme!

Three days of intense debates, workshops and parties have given many participants a satisfied feeling. It is hoped that today's final sessions and eveningparty will send everyone home with a positive vibe.

Summaries of most discussions, workshops and introductions can be found on the global archive site. PGAradio reports, interviews and newsbulletins, as well as all copies of the Daily Conference Paper have also been published here.

Today's plenary meeting is to give a formal structure on the PGA Europe network. It's informal context has been developed during the conference. Hey - if we don't know what we are doing, is there a point doing it? Remember, as one person said on the conference, if no money is put into circulation, goods are given away for free.

This is what empowerment looks like.


Reclaim the Streets - All Over the World!

The global RTS meeting was organised by members of the Tel-Aviv based group Allenbeach and of London RTS, and also included street party organisers from Ireland, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Greece and people from Africa, France and Turkey. The meeting's purpose was to share the expirience of street parties, review their purpose and discusss their future.

Allenbeach have been organising streetparties since last year. Parties were organised on Mayday, Buy Nothing day and Gay Pride day. Allenbeach parties transform Tel-Aviv's streets into beach parties with free alcohol and food, queer-core jewish musicals and take-and-take market stalls (to take or exchange goods). While London RTS actually stopped doing parties for the last couple of years, their victories have inspired activists all over the world to take up the street party method, as a natural progression for the global protest movement. Several activists of London RTS talked about what made the parties a success, such as the secrecy and mystery around the first parties and the platform they offered for a new kind of creative protest. They also reviewed what made them take a break some time after the Mayday 2000 guerilla guardening action - the over-emphasis on these actions, problems of size, and the wish to decentralise. Mayday 2000 also saw the emergence of live samba bands replacing sound systems in street parties. Since then they are becoming a familiar sight in anti-capitalist demo's around the world, adding to each one of these a bit of reclaim the streets, or making anarchism groovy again (if you like).

There were a lot of common issues for the different organisers, like the balance between the political messages and the rave. Some organisers weren't sure that the ravers coming to dance knew why the event was taking place at all, and feared the parties messages were taking a back seat while the parties became just a trendier alternative to clubs, another commodity to consume. Another common remark dealt with the consumerist aspect of the party, as the party organisers are few and the people that attend them don't contribute and get the party as a ready-for-use product. One alternative to that could be getting more groups to participate in organising the events, making a network with different groups to each organise different aspects of the party, and finding ways to involve the local community.

Another issue that most RTS organisers have dealt with was the police, of course.

Different police forces deal with street parties differently. In Sweden they just let them dance for hours, in London they blockade the party and in other places violence was common.

As the police learns to understand how parties work, new methods are needed, each country with its individual oppression flavour. It has been mentioned that if we can attract little kiddies and old ladies, the bigger the fun and the smaller the riot police forces (just don't say "human sheilds"). Also emerging are new ways of not just recaliming, but also of offering an alternative, and making the street party an example of how it could be if... and there lies its power. As a London RTS organiser added: after you expirience a street party somewhere, when you walk past this street in the future you will always have memories of what it was like when it was liberated, and therefore always keep that option in mind.

A network group for RTS activists has been created to share expiriences etc. You can add your address if you send an email to

Skill-sharing network

A network for do-it-yourself skillsharing was kick-started yesterday at the PGA conference.The idea had been discussed for several months by people who are actively involved in emancipatory networks. The main focus of the workshop was on finding tools to encourage more skill sharing at the local level and to provide more links on the international level

The group will start with a website to collect skill-sharing resources from different sources, and create skill-sharing tools on issues such as how to put together a seminar, a camp or a more permanent skill-sharing space. The domain of this website is not clear yet, but it will be circulated on email lists when the page is up. Besides the idea to set up a website, some people also think of preparing activist toolkits on different practical issues, ranging from compost toilets to fundraising.

Furthermore, the workshop discussed two concrete initiatives on skill-sharing: Escanda in Spain and seminars and toolkits set up in Germany. Apart from being the Spanish name of a threatened cereal, Escanda is also the acronym of Collective Social Space for Self-Management, Diversity and Autonomy. It consists of a group of people from different countries that is setting up an international space (located in Asturias, Spain) for learning, exchange and experimentation on alternatives which reduce our dependency on the market and the state.

It is meant to be a permanent space for research and skill-sharing in organic farming, sustainable forestry, renewable energies, telecommunications, social relations, economics, politics, and languages. Its aim is to help us to strengthen our, and other people's, abilities to autonomously organise, in both rural and urban contexts. Furthermore, the goal is to recover and transmit traditional knowledge, combining it with new perspectives. A foundation has made a piece of land and a building available on a one-year trial, after which Escanda might have free access to these resources in exchange for organising training activities.

The German initiative, to organise skillsharing seminars and develop 'activist survival toolkits', is still in the planning phase. Anyone interested in skill-sharing and mutual support for autonomous emancipatory spaces can subscribe to the list by sending a message to with the text 'subscribe spaces' in the body of the message.

Tomorrow there will be an informal presentation with pictures during lunch at the entrance of Las Vegas, behind the infopoint.

Give-Away Shops Elaborations

Europe-wide video activist project

The European NewsReal is an independent media project dedicated to establishing a network to distribute and screen grassroots videos covering issues ignored or distorted by the corporate media.

The European NewsReal acts to promote and empower groups and campaigns working towards positive social changes. If you would like to contribute a video piece for the next NewsReal, it will need to be four minutes to a maximum of five minutes long. You will also need to send us a transcript for subtitling, preferrably in English, or if not possible, in your own language.We cannot include pieces longer than five minutes, or pieces without a transcript.

To contribute, please email:

If you are interested in distributing or screening the European NewsReal, email:

After a presentation of Free Shops from Paris, Strasbourg, Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Hoenderloo Leiden on Sunday, the give-away collectives came together on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the theory and practise of their initiatives.

During the presentation, it became clear that the give-away shops are comparable in many ways, but also differ in some respects. The free shops of Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden and Leiden are more or less the same. The free shop in Paris is different, because it does not have a fixed location. Therefore, the initiators describe it as a 'nomadic' free shop, as it moves around from place to place. The shop is open 7 days a week, on locations that are not known beforehand.

The activists of the give-away shop in Strasbourg see their project as a psychological and pedagogical project, in which they try to analyse why goods are valued in certain ways. The free shop in Hoenderloo will be finished around November 2002. It differs from the other projects in that it will be located in a small village and will be built totally with free materials.

Definition of give-away shop

At first there were some difficulties defining what a free shop exactly is, especially in relation with free zones. Concluded was that free shops are places where you give goods without receiving money, with the aim to provide an alternative to the capitalist economy. A free shop should not be an exchange shop: It is not necessary to bring something in order to take something. A free shop should furthermore be a social place, with volunteers open to other opinions. The ideological background is not in all cases anarchist.


Opinions differed on the issues of housing and money. Some people held the opinion that a give-away shop should out of principle only be housed in a squat, stating that the shop should have no costs at all. A more important issue was money: some participants argued that it should be possible to put a box inside the shop for voluntary gifts, that can be redistributed to people in need. Others severely opposed any money circulation inside the shop, arguing that the whole idea of the give-away shops is to oppose an economy based on money, which is seen as the basis of inequality.

Another point of discussion was if you can refuse people behaving in an intolerable way to enter the shop. Some people argued that everybody, regardless if they behave in a sexist or racist manner, should be allowed to be in the shop. Other voices disagreed with this statement, but said to be open for discussion at all times.

Finally, there was a discussion on the question if the free shops should have limits to the stuff they give away to one person. Whereas some shops have limited the maximum amount to three or five items, some people pleaded for giving away without any limits or rules.


As becomes clear from the above, there were quite some differences in opinion. Therefore, one of the concrete outcomes of the meeting was the decision to set up a mailing-list to create an international platform for give-away shops.

Direct action against the University of Leiden ltd.

As a playful extension of Sunday's workshop on commercialisation of education, the 'Critical Students' held an action at the St. Pieterskerk, where the University of Leiden organised the opening of the new academic year.

About ten activists stormed the entrance of the church and set up two stands, each with its own security guards. The students and other guests of the ceremony were given a choice: between an independent university on the left side and a corporate owned university on the right. Under the close attention of about ten policemen and an especially stiff-necked principal the arriving students were informed about the consequences of the commercialisation of the educational system. What at first sight seems to be a marginal difference, can in fact lead to a complete redefinition of the concept of a university.

As André Klukhun describes in his essay 'Rather the poisoned chalice', commercialisation changes "laboratories and workrooms from creative workshops and breeding grounds for scientific knowledge into company offices where knowledge is manufactured as a product". To symbolise these concerns, the students that 'chose the corporate university' were confronted with a horned man in a three piece suit, that handed out leaflets with plans and promises: happy meals in the cafeteria, a Coca Cola machine on every corner, a shortened study-duration, a reduction in assortment of studies to those with short-term economic prospects only, a rise in costs for students and the dismantling of student councils, replacing them with big-shot managers. The students that disapproved of his plans, could enter through the left side and become 'free' students on an independent university, an institute where their creativity has a chance to flourish, where they can satisfy their curiosity, develop new ideals and models that may help solve the worlds problems.

Education is a right, not a product. Only corporate-free schooling can provide the environment necessary to grow both mentally and physically. In order to keep our educational system free of commercial influences we have to inspire students to go back to the beginning of science and ask the same dreaded question that cost Socrates his life: why?

For more info: or

 Strategy debats 

 Conclusions on the strategy debates 

Yesterday a session was organised to reach some conclusions on the strategy debates that were held on Sunday. The different debates had to be presented in a somewhat coherent document that would be presented as a strategy paper. Still the outcome was not expected to be a definitive 'PGA policy'. It was more seen as a potential reference document.

In order to refresh our minds each debate was briefly summarized during the first hour of the session. That would also facilitate the discovery of threads that reemerged in the different discussions on Sunday. If one conclusion could be drawn immediately, it would be the lack of gender- specified discussion. The decision was taken to set up a special working group on gender to eventually address the issues.

We know a large range of strategies discussed have not been included herein. There was no point in reproducing the answers to the six questions again, and the choice was made to address three tendencies that emerged in the strategy reports:

  1. Outreach, intervention in real social dynamics, local action and global strategy, visibility
  2. From Welfare State to Control State
  3. Private Property vs. the Commons

These themes were further discussed in seperate working groups, using the data the initial debates and focussing on present and future actions. We present them in this article.

Intervention in real social dynamics

The first working group observed that over the past years our movement came to recognize that the relations with our respective communities will be of decisive importance in the deepening of our struggles. This common process was abruptly countered by the events in Genoa and on the 11th of September. One year later, the issue of 'outreach' to the wider society emerges again within the ranks of our networks.

These community relations are the fundamental building blocks of any social transformation. A process whereby people identify opportunities to create new social structures that are capable to confront existing capitalist institutions in order to further hollow out their functioning. These new forms of 'counter-legitimacy' could gradually take over present-day political formations. Capitalism is a social relationship and building autonomous space allows us to decontruct this and experience our own non-capitalist social relationship. But it is not enough to build autonomous space: we must continually relink this to our everyday surroundings, to the capitalist environment in which we create and recreate our lives. Only then can we protect the 'counter-legitimacy' that we build.

This proces requires the continuous questioning of our activist identities, breaking down the culture and language of the movements to recognize our integration within society. An activist identity that is too strong alienates the activist from her/ his surroundings. Divisions between activists and non-activist can be addressed, for in our organising all people are 'active'. We can approach our environment in a supportive way rather than a patronizing one.

The need for the localisation of resistance should not hold us from adopting global strategies. PGA should take responsibility in formulating these. Some projects from different groups participating in the PGA were discussed. These initiatives effectively connect local activism and global strategies. We recall the social centres, European Social Consulta, No Border camps, Global Days of Action and different (permanent) caravans.

From Welfare State to Control State

Political activists in Europe and world wide, independent from actual actions, have been victims of different forms of repression. It sometimes seems that a strategic balance is lacking in our reactions to this, although all actions are important. We eventually need to think about how to balance the energies of our response.

Repression is an integral part of the apparatus of social control which can touch everyone, not just political activists. The process of repressing aims at creating division within society in order to distract from tensions between the powers-that-be and people created by systems of exploitation and domination. There is a process of stigmatisation, marginalisation and criminalisation of particular individuals and groups (encompassing political activism, gender, race, nationality and many other issues). This is used to justify repression and social mechanisms of control to the wider society. Once these mechanisms of control are established, they can then be used against others in other situations.

Repression itself can take place at two levels: firstly by having institutions which manage 'the problem' - be it prisons or hospitals or benefit systems, depending upon what 'the problem' is; secondly, by removing power from the people in order to deal with problems there is a need for further repressive measures for new problems. Furthermore, these mechanisms are presented as an integral part of a 'welfare state', by representing repressive institutions and processes with a human face, that help, correct and educate. In parallel, increasing resources from the 'welfare state' are invested in repression (jails, police, security) and the other mechanisms of the state are slowly integrated into the strategy of control (benefits becoming conditional, education). With the added context of privatisation, profit becomes another incentive for maintaining and reinforcing the systems of control.

Some recommendations regarding future organizing and stances were suggested during the working group session.

Within the PGA network there have been many instances of political activists fighting repression. Some examples are the creation of legal support groups, prison solidarity, within and outside prisons, and prisoner support campaigns and the providing of temporary or permanent autonomous spaces which are free(er) from repression than is otherwise possible within the current state. These are all ideas that should be continued and developed.

Private Property & reappropriation

The anti-capitalist actions of the recent years (mainly in the framework of counter summit or global days of action) have addressed capitalism by attacking the legitimacy of multilateral institutions (WTO, IMF...), banks, multinational corporations etc. These tactics have been successfull in raising awareness, generating social debate around capitalism and power structures, but have often failed to address capitalism as what it is: a social relation.

During the conference some interesting developments and suggestions in political discourse and forms of actions have been put forward generally tackling one of the fundamentals of capitalism: private property. These actions defend free access (freeshops, freedom of information, open source, free access to public transport...), practice "stealing" or reappropriation (YoMango type actions) and reclaim public space.

Ideally, stealing and reappropriation campaigns should also deal with the issue of overconsumption.

Sometimes activists also need to have a careful look at the products and they must differentiate between goods coming from a multinational and those coming from smaller companies that could include struggles of workers to improve their working conditions.

But should a reappropriation of State structures take place? In terms of addressing the struggles against privatisation, these should raise the issue of direct democraticly controlled commons vs. State controlled commons. As privatisations go ahead, the welfare State is also increasingly shifting to a Control State, we experience how structures like schools, hospitals or public busses are used in the repression against social movements (Goteborg, Genoa, current repressive laws in France...).

For example Activists in London have attempted to maintain a nursery that had been closed down due to privatisations, and run it in self managment. They successfully opened it up as community centre doing children activities. But had a lack of resources and support to sustain the activity in the long term.

Besides that, the third working group also briefly discussed a few areas and examples that have been addressed around Europe:

Autonomous spaces, and housing: activities can consist in squatting or buying spaces in order to create communes, collectives and areas of autonomy that are collectively owned. It was suggested that when we take over Social Centers we reappropriate free access to water and electrictiy. An idea for a useful tool: booklet on how to reappropriate water and electricty.

Food autonomy and food access as a fundamental structures of living. The idea is to be in solidarity with groups of society with physical, time and financial limitations for implementing and participating in the alternative structures, to target highconsumer groups to initiate steps towards change in relation between consumers-producers, between rural-urban areas and to reflect on the affects on social relations by a capitalist agenda.

Public Transport: Activities assessing the right to free transport. (i.e Collectif Sans Ticket Brussels). Actions have also included riding bus circuits themselves offering the transport service for free. In London links between RTS and subway workers on strike were successful in demanding free transport.

Reappropriation of public space: From Reclaim the Streets actions to billboards subvertising ...

Activities defending the right to free access to information, knowledge and against patenting.

Patriarchy and the capitalist system inside ourselves

The Patriarchal Culture we have been living in since a few thousand years is a culture based on competition, power and domination over other people. In this society men are the ones who have the educational and structural facilities to be competitive, gain power and dominate other people (women first of course...). These values of power and domination are deeply rooted in everyone of us, and are also the very values on which the capitalist system has been able to build itself and get ever stronger. It means that the enemies we usually try to confront in the streets is indeed inside everyone of us. We could destroy as many G8 summits, multinationals, states, world banks as we want, we would surely end up recreating exactly the same type of society as long as we don't confront the patriarchal culture we keep inside ourselves. Fortunately the different feminist analysis of the last decades have given us all the tools we need to find out the way we personally express these values of power and domination in our behaviours, social relations and daily lives (from the way we speak to the way we use technology). Learning from it would actually give us the possibility to confront the way we oppress women but also give us the chance to attack capitalist society at its roots.

Patriarchy is not only about women being oppressed. As men we also have to understand how much the patriarchal culture makes men suffer as well and how it prevents us to emancipate ourselves and build different social relationships. We're obviously agent as much as victim of the way we always have to keep being competitive, strong, feel the need to dominate over other people even inside our collectives and spaces. But we're usually afraid to question it because it constitutes us and gives us roles of power. Many of us European activists involved in our different collectives are white middle class boys educated to feel strong, confident with their ideas, analysis, able to speak loud and fight to show we know better than others. It makes us feel good "meeting competitors". Same for facilities into different technical areas as building, repairing, computer works. Other people and especially women suffer from a culture and education that usually prevent them to gain all these nice patriarchal capacities and often feel quite disempowered by the supposedly different activist's world and ways of working.

A few illustrations of patriarchal activism: in our actions and the mythology we build around it, we keep on glorifying the most spectacular, most confrontational, and all the situations on which male heroes can put themselves on the stage of activism. Even if some forms of efficiency (meaning achieving in a good way what we aim for) can be good, we should be aware that the typical male way of looking at efficiency (getting things done as quick as possible by people who know best how to do it) is often disempowering for other people, especially women. The same goes with trying to do as many different spectacular events as possible, one immediately after the other, instead of building long-term sustainable campaigns on one issue.

The pseudo-importance of the gender issue in PGA-related groups and activities. We always say that we're anti-sexist but in reality we don't spend much time working concretely on the issue of patriarchy. Antisexism in our movement presently looks more like a superficial folklore than real concrete focus. We usually let women take the few anti-sexist initiatives. It leads to the fact that many women who want to struggle against patriarchal society give up gender mixed actions, groups & movements as PGA.

The gender issues should be a central problem within all our collectives: why are we mainly male, white middle class men doing this action? What will we practically do to change that and create a comfortable space for others? Are we willing to take time for that?

We can state that differences between men and women are only the product of our socialisation. A first thing to do is to define and confront the ways these differences are used by some people to dominate others. Another thing is to reckon that there are positive and negative elements in both men's and women's specific qualities and that we need to build a society where the positive ones could be equally shared and mixed.

Men and women should be able to do whatever they find emancipating for themselves and others without any gender specificity, subverting the whole society by producing a lot of cultural tools (novels, films, theatre..) and direct actions that celebrate and give a picture of a culture without gender.

Let's dream!!

 PGA Structure and Process 

Proposals from the Workgroups to be ratified by the Plenary


10:00 - 11:00
Working groups will be presenting the different parts of the outcome of the strategy debates, as well as introducing projects related to the discussed strategies.

11:00 - 12:00
Comments on the strategy paper and the opportunity for short presentations of projects, mobilisations and campaigns worked on during the conference. (Groups who would like to present their projects etc. have to notify the facilitators before the plenary opens.)

12:15 - 13:15
Introduction to the process discussion and presentation of the proposals which need to be ratified by the plenary.

13:30 - 14:15 LUNCH

14:30 - 17:30
(with a 15 minute break)
Debating the process proposals, with the aim to reach concensus on each one.
(Most concerns and objections forming these proposals have been raised in the working groups. This should be the place for considerations and amendments.)

17:30 - 17:45
The Revolution

I Infopoints

  1. Groups that endorse the PGA hallmarks are called upon to take on work as PGA 'infopoints' which means they spread information on PGA in their local movement. Infopoints can be physical spaces as well as just (digital) contacts.
  2. These groups are not labelled as 'PGA' groups but are already existing groups that want to do PGA activities next to their other activities.
  3. These infopoints can organise regional meetings inspired by PGA. They can also start autonomous regional initiatives (not labelled 'PGA'). There is no representative structure from the regional to the European or Global PGA conferences.
  4. Infopoints cannot represent PGA, nor are they members of PGA, they are autonomous initiatives to spread information.
  5. The infopoints can be started autonomously, so consensus for their formation does not have to be reached at the European plenary. Infopoints that violate the hallmarks and principles of PGA will be noticed, and other infopoints and convenors can decide to no longer work with them (i.e. they are no longer part of the process).
  6. At every conference there will be an open meeting of infopoints where groups that want to become an infopoint can introduce themselves and get to know the other groups involved.

II Global Contacts

  1. A global email list will be started
  2. We will continue creating a PGA directory / contact list, starting in Europe and bringing it to a global scale
  3. The infopoints will gather and dissemenate information on global contacts
  4. Convenors should continue to take care of global communication (for instance by delegating it to a working group)

III Support Group

  1. Groups endorsing the PGA hallmarks (who express an interest in support work) will form the basis for support work. These groups will create open and transparent communication tools for the coordination of the support work.
  2. We will invite people that want to do support work and/or become infopoints to a meeting after the final plenary. If thay are interested but cannot be at the meeting, there is a contact point on the infoboard to express their interest.
  3. We aim to build personal trust between people in the support groups. People joining in should go through a process of learning in order to get involved, and there should be committment from those people joining. A face to face meeting is very important, and a first training will take place here in Leiden before the end of the conference.
  4. Support groups, in combination with the convenors, should have the autonomy of working out any problems within the group should they arise.
  5. Any support group has the autonomy to organise itself, make lists, develop internal communications, and create internal working groups, so long as it is done in a transparent manner.
  6. The function of the support groups is to help the convenors in their tasks, and is limited to the tasks decided upon for them by the PGA conference.
  7. Any new group or individual who wants to join the support groups should have the support of one group (or several) already in the support group.
  8. We differentiate between Info Points and Support activities, but coordination should exist between them.

IV Convenorship

  1. The three main tasks for convenors are: Organising the European Conference; European networking and maintenance of infrastructure; and Global Contacts.
  2. There will be at least two convenors, and after organising a conference at least one of the old convenors will help the new convenor/s organise the next conference
  3. Eurodusnie and MRG will continue as convenors while we (the entire PGA network) search for new convenors. They will organise a meeting for the winter where the new convenors will be decided upon.This meeting will be open to anyone endorsing the PGA hallmarks, but will definitely include the convenors, the possible new convenors, the support group, and the infopoints. Any further discussion on the convenorship will be discussed at the winter meeting.

V Communications

  1. There will be three email lists
    • The caravan99 list will be redefined for action announcments
    • A list for discussion and strategy
    • A list for support group coordination
  2. The question of who will administer the support group list and how will be discussed on the conference process list (
  3. Future of the and 'Global Archive' websites will be disussed by a workgroup - first meeting today, over lunch

VI Decision making

At the plenary we will address the need for initiating a long-term, deep debate on consensus decision making and of the philosphies and cultures that it reflects.

If any of the participants in the process workshops think there is anything we forgot please talk to the facilitators BEFORE the plenary.

Discussion on Global contacts
The discussion started on the possibilities of improving the circulation of information among PGA members. A PGA directory and address list exists on the internet but unanswered questions on how to use it have emerged, whether it should be publicised, and how junk-mail and northern domination can be avoided. Many areas in the global south do not have internet access. Digital communication, therefore, should be limited. A clear definition of partnership is also needed.
Columbian groups explained that they were looking for partners to launch campaigns, prevent assassinations and expulsions, and create financial support, instead of conducting theoretical debates. PGA is considered as an important ally in the broader struggle. Other examples of convenors like Reclaim the Streets, the Niger Delta group, and the north-American meeting showed the importance of combining different issues and assembling different convenors. The importance of improving communication on a specifically European level has also been stressed.
This brought the following reactions. PGA has, amongst others, an information clearinghouse function. By starting with a small network, local groups can act as infopoints and link PGA to other networks. These info-points could gather and spread information through various communicational means. The discussion on strategy versus practical information could be solved by launching a rapid response network, where request for action can be posted. In order to limit northern domination and email floodings, it was proposed to have a well moderated, limited and translated email list with mechanisms for participation.
The proposals that will be presented to the process group for ratification appear in the main section of this centrefold.


Computer privacy and the use of encryption

Totalitarianism is about watching people all the time and, through fear of the repercussions of what is seen during this omni-present surveillance, controlling them. Currently, telecommunication service providers keep logs on hard drives of all internet and telephone use, communications and transmissions.

Law enforcement agencies sift through these logs looking for certain keywords - Al Qaida, WTO, child pornography, etc. They use systems such as Carnivore and Infopol to monitor communications. Certain people are also tracked: if you have been to five or more demonstrations, your correspondence is probably under surveillance.

It is the responsibility of the these service providers to store and pay for all these transmissions, which drains their profits, so it is not in their best interest to do it well. This is the area those who wish to resist surveillance can exploit.

Methods of resistance include "Say hi to Echelon" signatures for email: posting a list of keywords that are sought after by law enforcement agencies at the bottom of every inane, banal email, thereby swamping their search engines with false hits. You can also test the police surveillance by planning a false action over email or over cell phones, then not doing the action but hanging out nearby to observe from a distance and see whether or not the cops show up.

There are two elements to communication self-protection: anonymity and privacy. Cell phones provide neither. If you use a credit card in your own name, your movements and transactions are also tracked.

One solution is to buy a prepaid cell phone for one-time use during a demo or action, and then to lose the phone afterwards. This offers anonymity but not privacy. It is also possible to create a self-encrypted SimCard for your cell phone, but you cannot call or be called by anyone who does not have the same encryption on their cell phone.

No email is truly secure, but some are even less secure than others. Information sent in plain text over telnet, for example, is very easily read in transit. American servers such as Hotmail and Yahoo have agreements with the US government that grants law enforcement agencies open access to all their server logs. Using Hotmail, you might as well send your emails via skywriting for all the privacy it offers.

PGP (short for Pretty Good Privacy) and GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard) are forms of asymmetric encryption. They work like this. You download some software from onto your home computer.

This software generates, on your home computer, a private decryption key that is known only to you. It also creates a public decryption key that you can give to all your friends or post freely. Your public and private keys are connected to each other by a passphrase that only you know. Other people, who also have PGP or GPG software, then write an email to you on their home computer. They encrypt their message using the combination of their private key and your public key. They send it to you, and you decrypt it with your public key and your private key, and as long as nobody has access to your private key or to your home computer, only you can read this message. Of course, it is still possible for the law enforcement agencies to decrypt your messages, but it will take them a while. Therefore, if you have encryption software and so do your friends (both correspondents must have PGP or GPG in order for it to be effective) you should send EVERYTHING, even the most banal, via encrypted messages, to create extra work for them. At first, it was illegal to export encryption technology from the USA because encryption keys were considered military-grade weapons. Now the laws are not so strict.

Other encryption forms include SSH (Secure Shell), which generates a new decryption key every time you wish to access your home server from abroad, and HTTPS, which is a more secure way of accessing web pages. Sometimes, using an internet server on another continent makes surveillance a bit more difficult, because of the difficulty co-ordinating between governments (within Europe, police co-operation is almost total).

However, no transmission is truly secure. Encryption does not make it safe. You should be constantly vigilant with the encryption technology you are using. The security of your computer (Windows computers that are connected to the internet can be easily entered by intruders from a distance), the security of your hardware (not sending passwords from a computer that logs keystrokes or keeps cache files of the different web pages you have viewed). If you use encryption technology, do not accept it from a corporation, because they will probably have put "back doors" in it to make it possible for them to access your files. Accept only encryption software that comes from an open-source code, because this has been reviewed by a community of volunteers from around the world who have no interest in hiding anything from you.

More info:,,,,

WEF Salzburg

About ten people attended Yesterday's workshop on the next summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place half November in Salzburg and Davos. The Austrian Anti-WEF coordination presented their campaign plans.

The campaign will focus on three main points: the anti-WEF coordination, the Salzburg Social Forum, and a public debate with the WEF, organised by Attac. This European summit will be mainly concerned with the integration of Eastern-European countries in the global economy. Lots of politicians from these countries will be present to meet Western European business-leaders.

The anti-WEF coordination-group emphasised that they are planning street theatre and other public actions during the summit, despite the high level of repression practiced by the neo-fascist government. Therefore, there is a strong need for international support.

The second part of the meeting was dedicated to the Swiss anti-Davos mobilisation. Due to the high levels of mobilisation during the last five years, the Swiss goverment does not seem to be very enthusiastic to continue hosting a private event that costs it more than seven million Euro's for security only.

Therefore, the Swiss coordination group thinks that ongoing mass-mobilisation may bring a victory for the movement, with the Davos-forum collapsing under (international) popular pressure. The Swiss group proposed to call for 'preventative' actions in front of Swiss embassies or WEF-members on the 16th of November.

This would encourage the Swiss authorities to renounce from hosting this proto-patriarchical institution. The call will be presented during the plenary session on Wednesday.

An aditional proposition was made by a member of the legal support team of the No Bordercamp in Strasbourg. She mentioned the growing repression during such mobilisations and put forward the idea to mobilise against the System Information Schengen (SIS) and the growing social control and repression permitted by such databases. In this way, anti-repression strategies developed during different mobilisations can be combined in a more proactive way.

Practical information can be found on,

 Struggle for food autonomy 

Food is Life:

Radical History of Food

Industrial agriculture is being pushed by biotechnology and agribusiness corporations onto people and planet all over the world. Biological diversity and genetic resources are being lost forever while farmers are being disempowered and being forced to produce crops alien to us all. There is an urgent need to rise up and resist this destruction. We have to act before it is too late, as we are in a vital period where the industry is doing its utmost best to promote their frankenfood monoculture system through governments, the World Bank, the WTO and the United Nations.

The workshop, given by Joyce from Genetic Engineering Network, covered the history of the loss in biodiversity resulting from the intervention of colonial nations and more recently transnational corporations in the production of food.

Meanwhile examples were given of the rich diversity of seeds (i.e. food crops) that still exists in many places on the planet as well as the cultural traditions that co-exist with such practices especially in the global south.

These agricultural systems are fragile to being preyed upon by corporations who do not consider the lives of the billions of people who rely on this natural diversity to survive.

Their actions ultimately mean the loss of thousands of species from our planet forever as monoculture and cross containation, which is already happening, takes place.

The second part of the session was a short update on actions and successes of the anti-genetic engineering campaign in the UK.

Yet more needs to be done throughout Europe to make sure genetically engineered crops are banned from our countryside and sustainable agricultural practices are implemented.

Several campaigns exist throughout Europe but more support and action is needed to kick corporations out of our food chain.

To join and find out more about existing and new anti GE and food autonomy initiatives e-mail Resistance is Fertile, a network of activists working on these issues.



Opposing views emerge on Patents within the PGA!

The workshop on Biopiracy started out with the 'innocent' participation of people but beneath it brewed an interesting collection of opposing views on the subject of patents and even GMOs! What emerged was a fruitful and challenging debate which continued well after the allocated 90 minutes into the afternoon, and brought out a real divergence in beliefs by those present and tested the facilitation and inclusivity skills of the ad-hoc facilitators (big up!). After the debate, people working on these issues stayed together to discuss different future strategies with a possible future European 'network' being an outcome. (A 'PGA' No GMOs/Patents campaign?)

The German Campaign against Biopiracy with the slogan of a carrot saying 'Be cool be Patented' (a joke) started with the story of the Mexican yellow bean, Azufredo, which was patented by Larry Proctor, the owner of US seed company, who named it after his wife, Enola. This patent is still being contested by the Mexican government and is a clear example of how the genetic resources of the South have been 'pirated' by Northern corporations who want to exploit and own our planet's biodiversity to develop products to sustain their profits. This is in stark contrast to the majority of people in the world who depend on this diversity for their livelihoods and which they never bought or sold.

The WTO TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of International Property Rights) agreement which allows the trade on patents of life, 'legitimises' the continued appropriation of these resources. Meanwhile, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity that gives countries sovereign rights over their genetic resources, is a sorry attempt to give back indigenous peoples their natural heritage as countries have been co-opted into selling this 'property' out to the highest bidding corporation.

After the presentation followed a heated discussion with many contradictory views on the need to have patents juxtaposed with the need to resist the paradigm which sustains them. The privatisation of nature versus protecting investments of patenting such resources to find solutions to illnesses. Yes this happened in the PGA, yet challenged each of the opposing mindsets to find qualitative arguments to defend their positions (Good practice for such situations, which often arise when confronting the 'mainstream').

Moreover some people felt that the issue of patents (the 'green gold rush') and GMOs should be separated while others stated that this was a representation of the same 'occidental' reductionist mindset which enhances corporate control over the production of food. Moreover it marginalises complex historical relationships that indigenous (and non-indigenous) people have with their ecosystems and the multiples other ways which acknowledge other forms of plant 'ownership' not based on a monetary system.

Opposition to the corporate future vision which fuses nanotechnology, microchip, biotechnology, monoculture (and more) need not represent an unrealistic 'back to nature' 'utopia'. Are we to just passively give away biodiversity, tradition and culture to shareholders in the name of using patents and biotechnology for those suffering? When suffering more often originates from previous interventions of Northern-led pollution, trading, exploitation and industrial (food) systems. The corporate science is an undemocratic exclusive power tool at odds with the indigenous knowledge, which is mostly sharing, inclusive and democratic. In a real democratic system, patents, GMOs as well as their associated risks would be incompatible and so would not exist.

The argument that corporate technology offers cures (hence the need for patents to facilitate innovation) for many, was countered by the fact that corporations set the agenda for the development of such medicines as well as selectively introducing the most profit-making drugs. The non-existent (corporate) cures for malaria and the protection of AIDS vaccines by corporations were examples of this. Moreover, corporate technoscience is no different to that of public research which it has now coopted. In the end it all boils down to who has the power to promote different versions of our common future and who is excluded in helping in determining a more democratic and fair planet.

The 'session' was followed up with the people who shared a common analysis on these issues sitting together and discussing their individual possible strategies to tackle the problems associated with GMOs, patents and access to land. A suggestion was to set up a network, which could support groups and disseminate information while still maintaining emphasis on locality and grass roots initiatives.



Disarm Docklands Arms Fair

The purpose of the workshop was to plan and network groups who are interested in shutting down or disrupting the DSEI arms fair, which will take place in Docklands, London, September 6-12, 2003.

DSEI is Europe's largest arms fair. It is an event with global significance. Not only British arms companies exhibit but companies from the Middle East and South Asia. Delegates (potential customers) at DSEI 2001 were invited from 79 different countries with approximately one third of those companies involved in war or conflict.

Sadly, most participants in this workshop were from London, so very little international networking happened. It was agreed that we should put out an international call to action for this day: There was discussion about whether to call for decentralised actions to take place across Europe or whether we should concentrate on getting as many folk as possible to London for a day (or whole week!) of actions. Since conference exhibitors and delegates come from all over Europe and the world we concluded that demonstrators should be encouraged to come from all over Europe too (and from further afield where possible).

However, other actions in other parts of the world on a disarmament/anti-militarist theme, during the week of action would also be welcomed. How should we encourage groups and individuals to get involved? Publicity materials and target audience for those materials were discussed: We don't always want to send the same publicity materials to anti-capitalists and to peacenicks.

It was agreed that it is vitally important that groups do not see this as a demonstration only for peace-nicks. The arms trade has links to so many other campaigns. Everybody is welcome in London for the Disarm DSEI week: If you want to come and hold a silent vigil-GREAT, if you want to come wearing your black hoody, great, if you want to scream and shout, play music, do street theatre - all are welcome! We agreed that it is important to create opportunities for 'safe' forms of protest, for members, for example, of refugee communities who have a direct interest in anti-militarism and conflict prevention but who want to avoid confrontation with the authorities. There is a co-ordinating group forming in London. This group will put together inspiring materials worded to encourage folk to come to London in September 2003. It was agreed that call to action materials should be more informative than last year's (glossy flyer with a pink tank on) Materials, for example, need to say "Shut down Europe's biggest arms far" in big letters.

Call to action materials need to be translated (volunteers needed) into many European languages and also translated into languages of refugee communities (who have a strong interest in anti-militarism).

Two outstanding questions.

Arrested at COP6?
Important News!

If you've been arrested at the november 2000 COP6 antinuke demo and convicted (or not sure), please contact, as soon as possible, your sollicitor. There is an appeal case 18 october that can revoke the verdict. If you contact your sollicitor, you do not have to be there and can still be acquitted.
Contact: Marieke Lindhout or Ineke van den Brule, or
(0031) (0)70 3803001.

Building European Disobedience

This meeting brought together different groups and networks that have experimented with various forms of civil disobedience. Present were, among others, people of the Wombles, Ya Basta Milano, Yomango, Milieuwerkgroep, Movimento de Resistencia Global de Zaragoza, Ecologistas en Accion Malaga and Global Action Osnabruck.

The discussion resulted in an initiative to organise an action day on the 21st of December, linking the Argentinean uprising of December 2001 with the Christmasshopping period.

The meeting started with a discussion about the possibility to organise a day of decentralised actions before the European Social Forum, taking place from 7 to 13 November 2002. Most groups stated that they would not have enough time to organise a big event on such a short term, although they also acknowledged that it would be good to communicate our own message during these days.

For the Northern groups the time problem could not be resolved because they will be busy preparing the mobilisations for the European summit in Copenhagen (December 14). Finally we reached a consensus to move the action day to Saturday the 21st of December.

There was a proposal to limit the content of the actions to three main issues: migration, free access and global war.

The first anniversary of the Argentinean uprising opens a lot of perspectives. Moreover, actions in the Christmas-shopping period could have a far bigger economical impact.

The meeting continued with a brainstorm, out of which came a few action hints:

Furthermore it was mentioned to keep in mind that disobedience should be easy to recognise and open for participation in.

The common element in the different groups and networks could be a colour, symbol or form, but a lot is still open for discussion, to be continued on a European mailing-list, on a local and regional level.


Free trade in Latin-America

The master plan for all America is the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). It plans 34 countries to be submitted to an international law for a minimum period of 50 years. This will mean a change in the constitutions of many countries that now accept collective property of land.

The suppression of communal land is already a contentious topic in all indigenous areas, as is the re-emergence of the major characteristics of the globally refused Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), like the possibility for mulitinational corporations to sue the states for eventual barriers to potential profit on their territories or social laws (or political victories of social movements), and the privatisation of natural resources for genetical engineering.

The FTAA is often called the « Declaration of Universal rights of Capital ». At a more regional level Latin America is divided in to different plans, Plan Puebla Panama, Plan Colombia, Andean Regional Initiative and Plan Dignidad.

The less known Plan Puebla Panama that covers Mexico and Central America was prepared ten years ago. It is composed of six specific sub-plans:

1. Energy Plan for the Americas

This means the privatisation of all gas and oil resources of the region for the profit of northern companies; building a pipeline from Colombia to USA; forced displacement of people living in oil areas; or through economic breakdown of the local economy. It is, for example, offering new crops to the local capitalists like eucalypus, oil palm or aloe-vera that either destroy soils or have very unstable and low prices on international markets.

2. Biological mesoamerican corridors

Since 1994 some natural areas have been declared "biodiversity reserves" by central American goverments in order to create a network of wild forest areas that are now being sold to pharmaceutical corporations that use them as biotech resource. These zones must be cleared of inhabitants. The World Bank has been improving these zones in exchange for external debt payments in some countries.

3. Integrated American electrical system

A great number of private hydro-electric dams are at the project stage. This is going to flood the ground where lots of resistance movements and communities use to live.

4. March to the south.

Most of the US industry is located along the eastern coast. But since Asia is supposed to face a great growth of international trade, the central American territory is an obstacle for shipping transport. The Panama channel can only be crossed by 50 boats a day, therefore six new channels are planned. In the same areas it is planned to have a maquiladoras tax and social right free zones for low cost industry. Now the central Americal industrial wage is around 4% of the north American one.

5. Plan South.

Means locking the southern Mexican border. This would create captive alimentary markets: the former peasants are already filling the suburbs without producing their own food. And also cheap workers.

6. Plan new horizons

As Central America is often flooded by hurricanes and other 'natural' catastrophies, the US army gently proposes to be there to train national security forces to save human lives. Several military schools are planned.

Other Plans like Plan Colombia are already ongoing with $1.3 billion of US military equipment to fight drugs. The Europeans are committed to build refugee camps.

The indigenous delegates of the 'Cofan' people explained at this presentation their need for European support to face the constant herbicide spraying of their subsistance agriculture by anti-cocaine airplanes that destroy corn and beans while the war between guerilla, paramilitary and military forces is ongoing in their traditional territories.

"Season of Global Action"
Global season of Struggle- 16th of September to the 21st of December
Because of the proliferation of calls for international days of actions, people who were informally meeting in Strasbourg devised the idea of collecting together a number of such dates and events to encourage people to not only take part and support each other's struggles, but also to explore and deepen the interlinking of issues and analyses. The season now includes the events discussed in the Latin America Solidarity workshop, but also the NATO summit in Prague, the IMF/WB summit in Washington DC, the blockade of the school of Americas, Media Democracy Day, the WEF meeting in Salzburg and others...
The concept is experimental, but hopefully, it could be developed as well for ongoing seasons of action in the future. The call and the different dates will be finalized this weekend on the email-list created at Strasbourg, on the PGA global archive site, you can find the current draft. We will ask the plenary on Wednesday if the PGA webpage can be used as a coordination tool for this (and maybe upcoming) seasons, in combination with Indymedia sites.
"...The money king is only an illusion. Capitalism is blind and barbaric... It poisons the water and the air. It destroys everything. And to the U'wa, it says that we are crazy, but we want to continue being crazy if it means we can continue to exist on our dear Mother Earth."
The U'wa indigenous people, after oil corporation Oxy was forced to withdraw from their land. Colombia, May 3rd 2002.
The draft call can be read on

The meeting Global Season of Struggle on Tuesday elaborated on forthcoming mobilizations and international solidarity actions:

More on the meeting, see


Full of shite

Newsbulletin September 3rd, 2002,

The local newspaper Het Leidsche Dagblad had a cynical review of the first two days of the conference. It said that only a hundred people are present at the conference and that during the walk to the station on the first day, bystanders walked by without noticing the people from PGA. In a small interview with a facilitator, it became known that the whole conference costs about 10.000 Euro's. The hall, where the plenary meeting is held today, is said to be very expensive, yet the newspaper does not say how expensive.

The price of the vaguest workshop is given to "Global season of struggle-connecting movements". The first remark in this workshop was: "Whose idea was it to give this workshop anyway?" The workshop started half an hour late and was followed by an introductionround lasting another 30 minutes. During this round, the first people started to leave, because of other appointments. There was no facilitator and when a PGA-radio reporter left at 16 o'clock he still did not know what the workshop was about.

In the Koppenhinksteeg, there is a car belonging to one of the conference visitors, which can be used to write peace messages. So far, nobody has done this.

Today, there is a protest against the refugee and asylum policy of the new ultra-right Dutch government. It starts at 14h. in The Hague. If people are not planning to go to the plenary meeting, we'll gather at the central hall of trainstation Leiden at 13:15.

Rampenplan, the mobile kitchen with delicious meals during the conference, complains about too many vegans. They bought a lot of milk, but it is all getting sour because nobody wants to drink it. The food is excellent by the way.

There is a hippie living in Koppenhinksteeg. She made a worshipping place in the parking of the Koppenhinksteeg where she organises strange ceremonies. She was also present at the demonstration in Amsterdam where she put little dots of paint on peoples' foreheads.

News about the gender workshop: the first thing a PGA radio reporter heard was that there were very few contributions of women to the discussions. However, some women told me that this is not true and that it is a rumour being spread by men. Truth seems to be that the women contributed as much as the men.

There have been some meetings of giveaway shop activists during this conference. They decided to investigate the possibility of introducing a new give-away item in the shops, MONEY, and second, there will be a European give-away shop magazine, appearing twice a year. One of the BO/rent mobile toilets in the Koppenhinksteeg can not be used anymore. It is full of shite.

Rumours & Gossip

Naomi Klein has returned! Apparently, her return is connected with some witchcraft happenings outside of Koppenhinksteeg.

Unfortunately for the Dutch Crown Prince, Klein has decided to spend the rest of her life in the transgender bathroom with an inhabitant of the planet of Wrossjk. They made a new game of monopoly, based on Wrossjk way of life.

There is a clone of Noam Chomsky walking around on the conference. A secret agent dressing up as Noam Chomsky? Last spotted in the transgender toilet.

The Transgender sanitary provision is full. It contained one toilet and one shower. Wondering why you feel asleep during the plennary sesssion. It is not the debate. No cafeine can be found in Rampenplan's Coffee. Rampenplan hoped nobody would notice...

Maybe we should also thank the capitalist system. As it is heard PGA Conference participants do not have to clean the public toilets outside of Koppenhinksteeg. It are the workers of the mobiel toilet company that are doing their shift.

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