g8 2005 | archives | www.agp.org | www.all4all.org

Festival of Dissent minutes.
6th-10th April 2005, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

From Wednesday the 6th to 10th of April, 300+ people from across Scotland and beyond met in rural Lanarkshire at the "Festival of Dissent!" They met to plan resistance to the G8 summit, to further educate themselves, and to build and discuss better ways of living and working together with their local communities. The final plenary of the Festival of Dissent said:

"The purpose of the G8 is to preserve the plunder of the world's most powerful. It is ridiculous to expect the G8 to 'make poverty history' or tackle climate change; it's like putting the fox in charge of the hen house."

The gathering worked on plans for a convergence in Scotland.

"We invite others from across Scotland and the world to join us in preparation for the convergence, and to gather with us during the G8 summit. We invite people to help us oppose the G8 and its policies, and most importantly, to contribute to the daily struggle to create new worlds." The gathering discussed the practicalities of accommodating, feeding and providing support for thousands of protesters in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. A number of action plans were further developed, reflecting the diversity of those attending.

It was also decided that refugees and asylum seekers attending future events would be financially supported to reflect the struggle of self-organized refugees against forms of persecution in the U.K. and in their homelands.

The festival was a combination of workshops, trainings and working group meetings throughout the day (CIRCA clown training, popular education, Direct action, etc.)

There were also 3 evening Dissent network meetings where decisions were taken and information from the day was fed back to the whole gathering. These minutes are not complete, some people who said they would write up minutes of these evening sessions didn't and so apologies that there are decisions taken that haven't been recorded. It's a shame that there was no proper recording of what happened, we all have to be more on it to avoid having to go over old ground at the next meeting.

Minutes included here:

  1. The Welcoming group, a new group were set up during the festival.
  2. The catering group
  3. Converegence centre wish list
  4. Dissent relations with other mobilisations
  5. The Climate Action group
  6. The No Borders group

One key decision and area of discussion was the relationship of Dissent! to the other groups in the rural convergence space. Consensus was reached on a statement that gave the convergence centre working group ideal scenarios and acceptable positions to work within in order to secure the convergence centre. The negotiations at the point are being done by this working group; I do not have the statement for these minutes. The political nature of the space was discussed and various ideas for organising around neighbourhood kitchens were discussed. Several of the existing social centres considered bringing their infrastructure.

Budget from Leeds working group meeting was condensed upon: Of the money available a provisional budget was agreed to prioritise the rural convergence, transport, communications and legal. Of 29k in the bank it was agreed to ring fence 21k for the convergence, 5 for transport, 2 for communications and 1 for legal. We still have a 40k deficit.

A call out for the blockades was written and there were no blocks, (? Is this right?)

Other things that happened, (again from memory)

1. Welcoming Group

The welcoming group exists to help new people find their feet, whether within the Dissent network as a whole or at a particular gathering or convergence space. This includes being friendly, making sure people get the info they need about how things work, organizing welcome areas etc

Below are notes from our first get-together. At the moment there are just a handful of us. If you want to get involved, contact: angelclare at riseup.net

Things we need to do (or make sure some WG is doing):

2. Decisions from the catering working group meeting:

3. Convergence Space Wish List Please let the convergence group know if you can supply any of the following (THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE!)

4. - Discussions on Dissents relationship with other groups.

Manipulation of NGO's particularly in relation to Africa

Already links between D and G8 Alt/MPH - shared resources - informal networks collide.

Problems: G8A/MPH should agree not to comment on any action that others do also D should not comment on theirs/ But D does already comment on them. Also when media get involved it becomes very difficult to maintain these barriers.

Political differences between G8A and MPH

Practical - how to access people before they come to G8 (many came for conference only?). Also need to publicise events around the G8. D is organising to encourage individuals in G8A and MPH to get involved.

Everyone agrees SWP is bad news and avoid them at all costs.

Publicity of what D is doing should be spread throughout networks.

Problem: MPH been manipulated by Brown/Blair. Danger of D being assimilated amongst MPH etc. Working with the state -danger within.

Shouldn't be overly critical of NGO's etc. Emphasis G8 - neocolonialism - co-operation with other groups to promote this idea.

Meeting/working group to be set up to formalise a statement: which will them be feedback to evening meeting.

Need to consider politics and tactics for action very carefully and be aware that they change all the time.

MPH- trying to make G8 'nicer'
D - G8 should be abolished
Counter summit - how should D react to it?
Big practical issues

D -many questions about D where is it going, what should it do, what are its politics? Will it continue after the G8? - Huge, huge decisions to make at one meeting.

Trust is key to pre-empting any trouble at G8

Working with organisations: massive e.g. SWP. Should we approach them about sharing these concerns? (Danger -D being sectarian and divisive: not co-operating with other groups?! very contentious issue SWP-inform police etc)

5. Climate Action Group

The 8th of July, international day of action of root causes of climate change provides an opportunity for people around the world to acct to say that the G8 as central to the system which is producing climate change and to use the moment of the summit to expose the hypocrisy of the leaders' words without taking any real action. It was agreed that because of issues with a lot of people not being based in Scotland, too much on, no clear target- no one at the meeting will try to organise any one mass action for the 8th of July, the day of action on root causes of climate change. Although if someone else, group want to then great, please ask about.

There will be information produced with ideas for action to be available on www.dissent.org.uk/g8climateaction. The group felt that there was real need to work closely with as many existing groups as possible to promote that this day is as widely publicized and actions/ demos/critical masses/exciting alternatives all happen on this day. The group said they would facilitate media publicity for these events. If you can help with this please reply to g8climateactionatlists.riseup.net

There was a decision to divide up the distribution of the publicity amongst the different groups, collectives and campaigns working on the different issues associated to climate change, (see the list). This involves actively contacting the groups and promoting the idea of doing something on the 8th and letting us know about it, whether it's in Scotland, the UK or anywhere else in the galaxy! There was at least one person for each thing. The list isn't exhaustive or exclusive. Basically if Anyone else on this list has contacts for any groups, NOW is the time to Start contacting them and networking it!

Bike ride
Carbon Trading
Oil industry and transport

A lot of "Time for Climate Action" postcards were distributed at the festival and the webpage is now up. Resources or ideas for the webpage should be sent to g8climateactionatlists.riseup.net

6. No Border meetings

There have been two meeting directed at the issue of refugees and migration. The first meeting submitted a call to the dissent plenary to make it possible for all refugees and asylum seekers to participate in the G8 protest. The plenary consented on keeping transport and convergence costs free for asylum-seekers and refugees in the course of the ongoing mobilisations and meetings.

Also it was proposed to further discuss issues surrounding no border policies at Sheffield's Counter Conference July 16th/17th parallel to the G8 home affairs and justice ministers meeting. No border groups and others are warmly invited to participate in the counter-conference. to address to the planning group email g8-sheffieldatlists.aktivix.org

Furthermore it was suggested to ask the organizers of the "no one is illegal" conference, scheduled for 2nd July in Manchester to consider relocating their conference in Scotland. Their papers and work are published on http://www.noii.org.uk

It would be good if the person who took minuets of the first meeting could submit additional information to the dissent no border list.

2nd meeting (taking mainly about the "Make border history tour" 3rd July in Glasgow)

Make borders history march in Glasgow on 3rd July is aiming at the participation of as many as possible local groups and also refugees into the protest. In order to make this possible the organizing individuals are aiming at a peaceful, creative and strongly visual "Magical-Mystery Tour" throughout the city. People agreed to strongly aim at avoiding arrests in the course of this protest.

Target points of the tour were proposed as

People in Glasgow and local groups are asked to include local groups and try to mobilise on a local level and community There will be a screening on 3rd May in Glasgow of no border films, including a possible meeting of people and groups interested in further developing the protest.

It was agreed to start a discussion via mailing list on a call for the tour including a call for a "no border" barrio as part of the rural dissent convergence...

to join the list G8 no border action list please subscribe yourself at

newsresist g8 2005www.agp.org