Notes of Democafe meeting
2-4pm on Sat 14th May 2016 – at The Forge, Delancey St, Camden.
Present: Michael, Janos, Mary. Apologies from Sara.
1. NOTES of the last minuted meeting held on Saturday 30th April 2016.
2. MATTERS ARISING from the NOTES other than on the agenda.
3. EVENTS LISTINGS:
• DemoCafe Events Listings: http://www.democafe.uk/events/
• DRUK – Debt Resistance UK: https://www.facebook.com/DebtResistanceUK – http://debtresistance.uk
• Global Table: http://globaltable.org.uk/wp/forthcoming-events
• LETSlink: reports on Hull City Council’s new community currency as reported by Steven Walsh in The Guardian
• Occupy Economics Working Group: events listing http://occupylondon.org.uk/events/
• Momentum: http://www.peoplesmomentum.com/calendar
• Pathways Network: http://www.pathwaysnetwork.co.uk/meetings.htm
• Positive Money: Events Calendar search 500 miles of London
• 38 DEGREES: Current Campaigns: https://home.38degrees.org.uk
• GREG PALAST: http://www.gregpalast.com
• ICUK (Constitutionalists): Meeting held on Wed 13th April.
• LGOT: London Global Open Table: “Matters in the Air” are circulated in advance, providing background information for the weekly open meetings on Wednesdays 12noon to 2pm: http://globaltable.org.uk/wp/
• POLITICS & SPIRIT: The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination – Defending the Zad: https://labofii.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/defending-the-zad-a-new-little-book-about-the-struggle-against-the-airport-and-its-world/
• THE RUNNYMEDE GAZETTE: a Journal of the Democratic Resistance, produced by Frank Taylor and in its seventh year, the May 2016 edition is now available: EUROPEAN PLEBISCITE SPECIAL: Editorial, A Long Journey, The Imperial Mindset, Referendum or Plebiscite, Brexit, the Movie. See http://globaltable.org.uk/wp/links/newsletters/runnymede-gazette.
• FREE CRITICAL THINKING: Daily Pickings, edited by Clive Menzies: Thu 28th April 2016: It’s a family affair • Fri 29th April: The Soros Empire • Sat 30th April: The Western front • Sun 1st May: Change in waves • Mon 2nd May: Hearts and minds • Tue 3rd May: Ourselves as a model system • Wed 4th May: Smart power • Thu 5th May: Complacency rules, OK? • Fri 6th May: Arbitrary power is systemic • Sat 7th May: Blatant lies take us to war • Sun 8th May: Corruption of economics bears repeating • Mon 9th May: Secrets of today • Tue 10th May: What is QE and where is it taking us? • Wed 11th May: From Abstract to Natural Perception – all links go to pages on: www.freecriticalthinking.org
5. Discussion Topics
5.1 Black Cap Pub: On her way to the meeting, Mary had talked to people demonstrating outside this closed and derelict-looking pub which had been a much loved LGBT venue, and one of the campaigners came along to tell us more about it. See: http://www.camdennewjournal.com/ruth-black-cap • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2015/04/23/new-black-cap-pub-owner-decision-to-close-venue-was-made-long-ago/ • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/02/19/site-of-former-black-cap-pub-to-re-open-as-a-new-bar-for-whole-community/ • http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/03/17/paul-ogrady-calls-for-black-cap-pub-to-be-re-opened-as-a-gay-venue/ • Michael felt that this was an example of a systemic problem about asset-stripping, and it was not clear at this stage what could be done: The petition to re-open the pub had closed after 8.454 people had signed it: https://www.change.org/p/the-new-owners-of-the-black-cap-reopen-the-black-cap
5.2 “Meet where you are” – Recruiting new Democafeteers.
5.2.1. Michael had been continuing to look for another venue for DemoCafe, and suggested Friends House Euston. Others felt that adding another meeting there would put us in danger of outstaying our welcome. Given that we were both attending Momentum’s Economy Conference on Sat 21st July, and that Sara had apologised for next week, we would not be able to attend on that day anyway.
5.2.2. Meanwhile, Janos reported that the Sunday meetings in Uxbridge were going well. They meet in the Library, which has a big foyer – the whole of the upstairs is glass – Omar’s student buddies drop in regularly and join in the discussion.
5.2.3. Reverting to our discussion on expanding, following Frank Taylor’s idea of setting up local “lodges” for his Runnymeded Project, it was agreed that if we could get other organisations to come on board, we could send out our agenda, with its links to many sources of information to a wider list.
5.3 Systems Thinking:
5.3.1 Janos was concerned about discussions being wasted if “the walls” are built on a poor foundation, and recommended the four-stage group process recommended by THWINK: http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/SystemsThinking.htm • see also: http://www.systemdynamics.org/conferences/2000/PDFs/cavana41.pdf
5.3.2 We also briefly discussed the problem of decision-making in small meetings, whether it was important to aim at consensus, or if people were not in accord, to resort to voting, the danger being that if those who present alternative ideas are not heard by the majority, they are in danger of coming to the wrong decision, as well as endangering the co-operative nature of the group.
6.1 Street Parties: Janos brought a leaflet advertising the Albert Street Party, to be held Sunday 9th June, requesting that any drop off bric-a-brac at Basement Flat 49 Albert Street, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
6.2 Convoy to Calais: Sat 18th June 2016 – for donating items, please study the instructions regarding what’s needed (and not needed) – nearer the time we need to look out for local collection/ sorting points to save time for volunteers in Calais http://www.standuptoracism.org.uk/2016/03/convoy-calais-dates-future-activities/
7. NEXT MEETING:
It was agreed to defer our next meeting in favour of Momentum’s State of the Economic Conference on Sat 21st May: http://www.john-mcdonnell.net/state_of_the_economy_conference_saturday_21st_may. Sara would send out a link to these notes with a request to people on our list to report back on any local meetings they have attended, especially if they had discussed some of the topics raised in these notes, and to recommend local venues: email@example.com.