Grassroots Gathering and capitalist crisis - audio from Cork

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Last weekend saw the 12th Grassroots Gathering held in Cork. The event was pretty successful I'd guess there were at least 80 there on the Saturday. It's good that after its two year interruption the Gatherings seem to be getting back on their feet.

I was one of the speakers at the 'The moment we are in: Kicking capitalism when its down session'. I stepped in to fill a need at the last moment and based my talk on an article Paul Bowman is publishing in the next Red & Black Revolution with the addition of a few anecdotal stories from my US tour. James McBarron of the Cork WSM spoke as well, the audio from the talk is at http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/nov2008/capitalistc...8.mp3

The Grassroots Gathering is a broad and loose libertarian network set up a number of years by groups and individuals who were unhappy with the SWP run 'Globalise Resistance.' The first Gathering happened I think in 2001 in the interval between Genoa and September 11th. Cork was the 12th such meeting, they had happened every 6 or so months from 2001 to 2005 but the organisers of the 10th Gathering in Rossport forget to ensure that Gathering delegated an organising group for the next. So there was a gap of a couple of years before the initiative was taken to call one in Dublin. Laurence Cox wrote a useful history of the Gatherings up to 2005 which can be found at http://www.wsm.ie/story/2799

The broad nature of the Gathering has mean the actual sessions are a very mixed bag of events from talks about LETS schemes to Art Activism to more class struggle orientated sessions. That mixed up nature means some 'serious' anarchists will have very little to do with the Gatherings which IMHO is a silly attitude given that no one will force you to attend a juggling workshop and there is nearly always one or more worthwhile sessions that will attract 2 or 3 times the attendance of a meeting called on its own on that topic. They also have the benefit of being very easy to go to so as well as being a networking event for people who know each other to catch up they are also an important entry point for new people.

The socialising aspect is also important, many of us have now been working on and off on the same projects for seven years and the actions around these are often intense. The Gatherings provide a useful space for calmer and more reflective discussion. And they tend to be fun - this one was no exception, I recorded some of the acts delivered by GGers at the Cabaret held on the Saturday night and the audio of this is online at http://www.indymedia.ie/attachments/nov2008/ggcaberetno...8.mp3 The first song is performed by James, my co-speaker from earlier who has an amazing talent for remembering lyrics.

I've not heard yet where the next one is being held but I'm sure to try to get there.

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