I hope that this message will all find you happy, healthy and inspired. I took the initiative to put together this newsletter following a number of discussions with some of you and since it seems that we won't have any opportunity to have any substantial meeting before January. There are a few really important topics in this newsletter so please take a bit of your time to have a look at it and follow-up if you can! Thanks :) 'Pedro'
* WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM WHAT HAPPENED?
* CALL FOR WRITINGS!
* PLEASE SHARE YOUR PICTURES
* KEY FORTHCOMING DATES
* HELP FOLLOW-UP AND PREPARE WHAT'S COMING NEXT!
* TRAINING PROPOSALS
* LOST AND FOUND
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM WHAT HAPPENED?
Since we took off without having the possibility to have a comprehensive discussion and a debriefing, in order to have some basic feedback, enable a crude evaluation and foster mutual learning, I would like to invite all of you to take a few minutes to email your answers to the following questions:
* What were the greatest things you experienced related to the occupation/camp for education/protests/actions?
* What were the key strengths and/or successes of UWE's camp for education?
* What were the key weaknesses and/or mistakes of UWE's camp for education?
* What idea(s) would you like to make happen next year?
Please try to be concise and answer each question in a few sentences (one sentence per strength, success, weakness, etc.). If you have more to share, consider writing a text (see the call below). All answers will be gathered in a document that will then be shared to the group of people interested to do an evaluation.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and please add FEEDBACK in the subject :)
There is a wonderful idea to organise a day or a week-end dedicated to debriefing and to discussions about our next steps. If you are interested to help make that happen, please also send an email and add DEBRIEFING in the subject :)
CALL FOR WRITINGS!
A lot has happened over the past few weeks and it might be a good idea to use the break to reflect individually and discuss with our friends about what happened. One thing that would bring this to an entirely different level would be to share our observations, thoughts, analyses and ideas in writing. Not only that would be a fantastic memory of our achievements but it would also allow a deeper and more comprehensive evaluation.
Whether you were part of the group of 'hardcore' activists who held the space most of the time, you only came to the camp a couple of times or you attended a single protest, whether you were thrilled by everything that happened or you have a more nuanced evaluation of the occupation, your views and thoughts would help all of us to build mutual understanding, to do a much better evaluation, to learn and to make it even bigger and better next time.
Anything you would like to share would be appreciated and useful: descriptions of extraordinary (good or/and bad) experiences, observations about our strengths and weaknesses or successes and failures, comparisons with other occupations, full-blown analyses or theoretical essays ... or anything else you can think about!
If we have a sufficient number of contributions, one idea would be to collect all these texts and edit them into a small booklet or a book.
1/ If you want to be part of the working group that will edit and produce this booklet send an email!
2/ If you intend to write something, let us know before the 31st of December.
3/ The deadline for the full texts is the 9th of January.
Email: email@example.com and please add WRITING in the subject!
PLEASE SHARE YOUR FILES
Many of us have taken pictures, made videos, recorded workshops and teach-ins at the occupation, produced flyers and subverted UWE's marketing. Some of these files were shared on facebook but many of us have much more on our hard drives. May I suggest that we send the pictures we think are worth sharing to firstname.lastname@example.org or at least announce there that we have stuff worth sharing? We could then gather all of this on a CD so that we all have each other's pictures without having to put all of that on evil facebook where everyone can see it. If you want to help out with this, please email!
Email: email@example.com and please add FILES in the subject!
KEY (KNOWN) FORTHCOMING DATES
* 10 January (Monday), location TBD: national conference against education cuts and for free education (http://act-at-uwe.blogspot.com/2010/12/call-for-national-conference-against.html)
* 15 January (Saturday) in Manchester: Network X Gathering (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=165446950159789&bcode=coIxp)
* 29 January in London: National demonstration (http://anticuts.com/2010/12/15/national-demonstration-29-january-2011-london/
* 5 February in Paris: transnational coordination meeting of the 'Dissent' network preparing actions against the G8 in France this summer
* 11-13 February in Paris: European Meeting of University Movements (http://www.edu-factory.org/wp/for-a-new-europe-university-struggles-against-austerity/)
If you are planning to go or if you are interested to go to one of the meetings, please email so that we can know which events are covered, communicate and support where needed!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and please add EVENT in the subject!
HELP FOLLOW-UP AND PREPARE WHAT'S COMING NEXT!
There's still some remaining follow-up work and a few great ideas and initiatives growing for next year (some have to do with UWE, others with the broader movement). If you have a bit of time and if you're interested to get involved now with putting together some really exciting things, send an email!
Email: email@example.com and please add I CAN HELP in the subject!
We have had offers to arrange a comprehensive one-day action training from several UK activists. We also have the possibility to invite to UWE a legendary civil disobedience trainer for a two days week-end workshop. Finally, we also have prepared what should be a fantastic media training for those of you interested to do media work for our group and for the movement.
If you are interested, please reply this email and tell us if you are interested in some or all of the following:
* the one-day comprehensive direct action training,
* the two days intensive civil disobedience training,
* the media training (a couple of hours).
We'll decide what to organise and the order in which these trainings will happen based on your replies, so please email!
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and please add TRAINING in the subject!
There's also a legal observer and support workshop on Thursday 13 January that some of you might be interested to attend: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=176535295700556
LOST AND FOUND
Many of us have lost some of our belongings at the camp or at related events, and some of us have sometimes ended up with unfamiliar things! If you are still looking for something you've lost or if you have found something, please email!
Email: email@example.com and please add LOST or FOUND in the subject!
MERRY CHRISTMAS (for those of you who celebrate it) and HAVE A WONDERFUL BREAK!