Dissent! gathering in Edinburgh – finally over

The Edinburgh Dissent gathering is over now, and it is time to relax. But there is not too much time to relax, as the Big Blether will be the next activist event in ten days, and after that there is the European Social Forum. I have so far never been to one and this year it seems mainly an overgrown “marxism 2004”- as it is heavily dominated by SWP and their front groups.
However, in the last months several interesting spaces and discussions have been planned for the Alternative or Autonomous Spaces, which seems far more interesting, so will probably go and have a look.
I look particular forward to the European Forum on Communication Rights with the Indymedia Centre.

The Dissent! gathering in Edinburgh went okay, more or less, I got lots of encouragment, but also messed up a little bit, e.g. the accomodation was difficult to arrange, and the Bilston Woods people got a big surprise when they were suddenly invaded by two dozens of activists, because the word did not get passed round enough. A laptop went missing and was luckily retrieved again, but that was another big crisis point, as well as when a closed door mysteriously locked several people’s rucksacks in and thex had to wait nearly two days to access it. I don’t kniow at all what was discussed at the meeting as I was zooming around all the time for logistics.
The soup which I tried to get on Friday evening and which was refused also appeared mysteriously on the saturday, so did lots of other eatable things which were asked for, but nobody had responded to the pledge or request, and then suddenly all these nice little things appeared, such like roasted nuts hmmmm!

The Edinburgh Chiapas Group had organised a brilliant fundraiser organised, and everybody was pretty happy apart from B,. whose dog was not allowed in. Beforehand I had said we had dogs in there before and it wasn’t a problem; unfortunately this was more an assumption than actual knowledge and the poor dog owner got into a big argument with the poor bar worker. Anyway, I was zooming around all the time organising things, but unfortunately I am not quite sure what i did in all the time.
Accomodation is definitely an issue, and i know can much more understand the poor activists in Dublin who suddenly had a similar problem. There was also a nice Indymedia Ireland activist at the gathering; so let’s hope relations improve, though I guess I have now another permanent enemy regarding the imc-network discussion about this horrible article about Blair’s daugthers suicide attempt.

Anyway, I am happy now that the weekend is over, and that now I feel so much more happy and confident in the activist scene than before, previous bad experiences have now surely been outweighed by good ones.

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