Friday, 25 June 2021

SLLU... Second Life's Conscience

By Plot Tracer

Back in 2006, as a member of a left unity party that had until that time had worked well since 1999, after a conversation with another member of the party (Scottish Socialist Party), I took a dive into Second Life and took a look around. After a group search using various political terms, I saw that quite a few small left groups existed inworld. One small Socialist Group had a small, unused, meeting room, and from there, I sent messages out to hundreds of individual avatars, and group messages asking if anyone would like to meet and talk about creating a left unity group. I can't remember how many replies I had…  but they ranged from supportive, but not interested, to outright opposition as 'this sort of left unity would water down' whatever 'one true analysis' the person was affiliated to. 

{SLLU hit real world headlines, when it organised and facilitated the mass protests against the Front National

But, two people agreed to meet and discuss a way forward. Higgledipiggle Snoats (Higs) and Dick Marellan…  and so SLLU was born. 

I can't stress enough how incredible Higs contribution was, both politically and creatively. Higs and I worked almost tirelessly through the night on projects and on building SLLU for nearly three years. And others then became involved, taking the group in many, many directions. 

{Unity Station... Our HQ

I've always thought of SLLU partly as a training platform. I mean, some people whose first act of activism is sticking a pixel sign to an avie, have gone on to protest and stand up for rights in rl. All of what we tried to do in sl had rl application /effect. One of the first things we did in 2006 was open up a piece of land for people to create a "peace camp" tent where they could create links to rl issues. Even our Front National protests were about ensuring the media knew about what was happening. We spent long hours during those few months writing press releases, being interviewed, contacting new press and digital media press and magazines, about the protest, and our concerns, demands (at one stage i was just getting four hours sleep a night, working on that and working in my rl profession during the day!)

Subsequent stuff, like the Italian IBM strike (an invasion of an IBM Italy organised Global CEO meeting by hundreds of protesting Union avies that led to IBM's italian CEO resigning) and the fund raising for RAWA were all rl based, but mobilising inworld activists and people who until those points, had no idea they were activists!

We did other  inworld stuff that had no outside implications... Eg,. Protesting LL TOS, in order to teach activists about real world implications , history (history of enclosures, capitalism, privacy issues, etc)

I also thought of SLLU as being a bridge to activism for people who might not be able to be active in rl for whatever reason (disability, isolation, mobility, mental health amongst other reasons) . A group from which people could be active from their desktop, laptop. SLLU came along before a lot of the online petition sites etc, and we offered people a place where they could, in solidarity with others, shout truth to power. That's also true of another project I founded,, some of those podcasting and/or writing do so from their bedrooms, wheelchairs etc and some are autistic, anxious, time poor... Helping to draft letters of protest for folk, and asking for the power of many voices to sign those letters, can make a real difference to people's lives. The power of numbers... Real Solidarity.

And moreso, we allowed activists to take the lead using skills they had or wanted to cultivate, after group discussions, rather than taking a top down approach (many of the inworld political groups mirrored rl political group structures... Which in my opinion  are at times questionable, and in the anarchic world of sl, just hamper creativity)...

Is SLLU worth revitalising? I think so. Activist groups exist in SL, but they are reliant on one or two people funding them…  or at least being involved in order for others to feel confident enough to give money to keep them in expensive sims and parcels. SLLU is a place for all brands of left activists to come together in common cause. 

The fact that a number of people have come together to re-envisage and reboot SLLU after a message from a Linden saying our parcels were about to be seized speak volumes about SLLU's power and durability after all of these years when so many of the groups started in SL in the naughties have dissipated. A group were people with left political principles across the left spectrum can never truly disappear. A group with a conscience. 

We may not at present have the numbers we once had,  but like the time when Higs, Dick Marellan and I came together in 2006, it just takes a small, determined group of people to work together to morph a Second Life into RL revolution! 

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Wednesday, 23 June 2021

The future of SLLU

Im not sure how many people read this any longer. Probably none. SLLU was a huge hug of a thing. Something that, in a cold, sometimes angry digital world, brought people together who wanted the world to be different. A world no longer based on Romano /Wall Street /Imperialist injustices.

And we made a difference on many occasions, from giving fascists a pasting, through to organising a real life strike and superb feminist actions.

And now we are at a real crossroads. Do we let the organisation die, or do we look at building SLLU 2.0...

Please contact me via email if you are interested in taking part in the discussion.
SL: Plot Tracer

RL: Neil Scott 

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

SLLU minutes of meeting 28 Nov 2013

A small and short meeting of SLLU volunteers took place on 28th November.  

Tasks to be carried out were volunteered for and a date and time were decided for the next meeting.
Below is a summary and edited highlights of what was spoken about and decided.
Disappointment was expressed at the recent seeming lack of interest in Femnet, which at one stage was the most active aspect of SLLU.   

The SL  OWS, not unlike the rudderless rl occupy movements, has disintegrated.  It had been popular and meetings had been lively, though because of the politically naive, at times had fallen apart into ridiculous conspiracy theory.

All present felt that SLLU should continue, though Plot expressed that he would not be able to organise in the way he has in the past as it took up a lot of time and his RL political and personal life is busy.  He explained he is an organiser of the SSP and heavily involved in the Scottish Independence movement which is working towards a Yes vote in next September’s referendum.
Plot said that if SLLU were to continue in a smaller capacity - we need to discuss (in the coming weeks) its form, and how much of this land is needed etc

Agnes suggested we could probably sell some land.

 [13:08] Plot Tracer: i have had offers over the month to sell it - but held off until i could get some time in here
[13:08] Plot Tracer: and it is also the use of the remaining land we should think of
[13:08] Corwen Foulsbane: I could move my gallery and theatre here if that helps generate more activity

 [13:09] Plot Tracer: but we need more "donated tier"
 [13:09] Wilma Mankiller: I say we sell some of the land and keep this area here and the stage area
 [13:09] Wilma Mankiller: we have donated tier for that?

[13:09] Corwen Foulsbane: Ok. Honestly I have never quite understood how SLLU finances work ;-P
[13:10] Plot Tracer: well - i'll tell you how they work. :D
-           Plot Tracer: people donate money.  we use it to buy land - and keep at least £30000 in reserve for emergencies such as when we fought the french front national and managed to buy land beside them in order to lag them etc
-           Plot Tracer: land is group owned.  the Unity hub group is the land group
-           people donate tier  - extra tier not used by their paid accounts
-           one member is donating a huge amount of what we have here
-          and some, like me, is donating 500 sq mtres
[13:12] Corwen Foulsbane: So as activity goes down, inevitably the donations fall

[13:12] Plot Tracer: money doesnt matter regarding land
-           we keep what we have so long as people donate their tier
-           the beauty of sllu land is that it truly is group owned.  it is not "owned" or controlled by a landlord etc
[13:14] Corwen Foulsbane: And spare tier comes with having a premium account, yes?
[13:14] Wilma Mankiller: yes
[13:14] Plot Tracer: what really slows stuff down (and this is me speaking as a founder and someone who since 2006 has been doing this) is when we do not recruit new members
-           though we run the land in a way that even those without  premium accounts can build and make homes here etc
 [13:15] Wilma Mankiller: I tried to make people come here by DJ`ing but [few] showed up
[13:16] Plot Tracer: well - events need advertising.  that is what i spendt a huge amount of my sl time doing.  advertising/ spamming other activist groups/ putting events up on the sl events board etc

[13:15] Plot Tracer: so Corwen - - regardless of you having a premium acc, you could have your theatre here free
[13:15] Corwen Foulsbane: Well as I immediately see things, I think there's two things we have to do in the short term
-           Firstly, we probably should sell some land and we can always buy again as we build up once more
-           Secondly, maybe some kind of interim committee to get recruitment on the go, etc
-           And give the group some direction again
[13:17] Wilma Mankiller: there is one issue though, the land, especially around the stage area is causing a lot of troubles for people, lag etc due to too many running scripts
[13:18] Plot Tracer: that problem is one that seems to dog us here.  is there anyway you could look into that agnes - and get it fixed?
[13:18] Wilma Mankiller: I looked into it, contacted LL, they said it was because of too many scripts running
-          idk if anyone removed their scripts
[13:19] josjoha: maybe it's needed to return a lot of objects and rebuild
[13:19] josjoha: the stage area
[13:19] Wilma Mankiller: might be an idea
[13:20] josjoha: or create a parcel and set it no-scripts

[13:18] Plot Tracer: re: 2 recruitment
-          we need to think about why we are recruiting
-           I sent out a few notices about it
 [13:19] Corwen Foulsbane: Yeah. I thought about putting an article on the Left Unity website (the English LU, that is) about what this group does, or could do
[13:19] Plot Tracer: ok - before we do that - how is this...
-           we organise a meeting once a fortnight.  now the meeting may be slow to begin with - perhaps just us talking about what we need to do
-           but then it can develop into perhaps, political chats, like we used to have - and start to make links to newer left groups etc  - and perhaps any of the strays from the older ones again
[13:21] Corwen Foulsbane: That sounds like a plan
[13:21] josjoha: fine with me
[13:21] Plot Tracer: ok
[13:22] Plot Tracer: for the next meeting, why dont we in our own time, take a look around here and come back with ideas of what parts of the land here we no longer need - and what we should conserve
[13:22] josjoha: maybe we can create some kind of political map, where various left directions have their positions on various issues mapped out (?)
[13:22] Plot Tracer: explain jos?
[13:23] josjoha: we have for example the marxists & the anarchists, and then have their positions on govermnent, trade, capitalism ? just thinking on this -- maybe it's not a good idea because it stresses the divisions
-           but i thought we need to find common ground so, a map seems handy then to find where all agree and then act on that

[13:22] Corwen Foulsbane: Like most people (I guess) my issue is going to be with finding a spare evening for an online meeting but at least if we know when it is then it's maybe easier to try and schedule for it
 [13:25] Plot Tracer: ok - we also need to identify key activists in sl nowadays as well
[13:25] Corwen FoulsbaneCorwen Foulsbane nods
[13:25] Plot Tracer: - not the "heroes" - but people -like Trill - who actually do stuff that is positive
-           if we make contacts, and offer help, and perhaps let them use these meetings as a sounding board for their ideasd- sllu will have purpose
[13:26] Wilma Mankiller: I suppose I could have my good friend Nadya put up some of her freebies here as a shop
[13:26] Plot Tracer: excellent! :D
[13:27] Wilma Mankiller: I think a bit of rebuilding would be good too
-           not too much, but a little
-           like moving the stage area away from the library
-           that one has a lot of scripts
[13:28] Plot Tracer: Agnes - can we give that to you to look at?
[13:28] Wilma Mankiller: ok
[13:28] josjoha: i'm wondering how we can have SL activity impact RL, maybe we could discuss various ruling class attacks that may be the same accross nations and see what we can do against those in RL politics/unions wherever ppl are
[13:28] Corwen Foulsbane: Good idea
[13:29] Plot Tracer: i agree jos - sllu has always had *some* rl implication/impact.
[13:29] josjoha: ultimately we need to impact RL
-           or even directly - networking, ideas, what's going on, it's all the same banks we fight i suppose
-          and the enemy has their councils and confabs ... they sure seem to make headway

[13:29] Plot Tracer: I think we need to rebuild first, before we can have this forum making a proper impact.
[13:29] Wilma Mankiller: I always thought it was RL impacting SL
[13:30] Plot Tracer: maybe agnes - but things like the front national - when we embarrassed them in the rl press etc; the rl ibm strike we held here that meant the sacking of the italian ceo and more recently, the rawa fundraiser... all impacted in rl
[13:31] josjoha: you are in a RL party, right plot ?
 [13:31] Plot Tracer: I am an organiser for the scottish socialist party
[13:31] josjoha: i'm in the labor union (FNV, committee for local politics city Groningen)
 [13:32] josjoha: we see that the ruling class wants to put ppl on unemployment benefits to work, without labor contract, 32 hours ... this is something we can discuss across borders using SL
-           SL should be a great cross-border platform for information sharing & ideas
-          lot of analysts expect some big economic crash or war or whatever, i think in case they're right we need SLLU to already be here

[13:33] Plot Tracer: agnes - you can look into the stage area?
[13:33] Wilma Mankiller: yes
[13:34] Plot Tracer: Jos - could you do a bit of sl research to see if there are any active left groups/ activists?
[13:34] josjoha: ok
[13:35] Plot Tracer: Corwen  can you look around the area and let us know at the next meeting where is the best place for your theatre?
[13:35] Plot Tracer: and agnes - perhaps you can ask your friend about placing a freebie shop
 [13:36] Wilma Mankiller: I can
[13:36] Corwen Foulsbane: Oh and are we all in the Facebook group if we need to talk outside SL?

Next Meeting

[13:38] Plot Tracer: would the 9th dec be ok for everyone?
 [13:41] josjoha: 9 dec 12 pm SLT
[13:41] Plot Tracer: ok - as Corwen says, we can be in touch on the facebook page - or via email - is that ok?
 [13:44] Plot Tracer: oh - as well as the sl tasks - lets bring one item each from rl we are working on/ been following - all perhaps explain in a few paragraphs to each other?
 [13:45] josjoha: maybe if we can mesh RL into here more, some RL ppl will find SL meetings more interesting too

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Monday, 29 April 2013

Reconvening SL Left Unity

I propose we reconvene SL Left Unity for two reasons.

1 to share any real life / online activity we have been organising or taking part in to fight back against corporative austerity.

2 to organise coordinated worldwide SL / RL activity to inspire, acknowledge or spark a fightback against corporate austerity.

Comrades- in the West, the owner/corporate class are winning the class war. We need to fight smart and crack their system wide open.

If you are interested in getting together inworld, email me at

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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Elvin Revolution

From our RL sisters and brothers in the Scottish Socialist Party... A little Christmas story... HERE

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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Podcast drama...

...from Plot Tracer and Acting Strange Theatre Company...

Follow their blog HERE

They've been enacting some of Plot's short stories and scripts... this is one.

The Bridge

Is a life defined by football colours? The Erskine Bridge, outside Glasgow, Scotland,  is the starting point for this drama about two people who fall in love despite the difficulties inner city life throw at them. Starring Andi Rossetter and Beth Frieden. Edited by Neil Anderson. Written by Neil Scott.

Podcast Powered By Podbean


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Monday, 11 June 2012

SLLU artist, Trill Zapatero, has created an excellent future vision of the world through a half-sim sized art installation.  A post-apocalypse, post-everything vision that shows that after humans mess everything up, they can still build a beautiful world for themselves.  Her message is an optimistic one.  We can make a better world.  It's why we keep up the struggle.

find it here:

THE APOCALYPSE WILL NOT BE TELEVISED…it will be immersive and interactive.

This is my take on what could be within the next couple of hundred years.  It is post oil, post economic collapse, post money, post everything almost. Global warming has come and gone and the environment is repairing herself.

You land in a blighted urban ruin inside of what used to be Dante’s Pizza. In the parking lot outside a ghost runs by leading the way, hopefully to help you escape from this dangerous and crumbling place. All around you are graffiti paintings giving clues as to what happened here. You notice the crumbling roman façade of the Stock Exchange building. You wonder why established institutions always used to style their architecture on that of fallen empires of the past. Even the Ritz hotel has totally lost it’s posh. You notice the ghost climbing the ladder so you follow her up and down the other side of the Imperial Theatre. You make your way through and abandoned, fallen-down house and out to the street. As you step on the road, it collapses beneath you and you land in a subway at Wall Street Stop. From here you make your way through the subway and after some collapsing walls and rising water you find yourself exiting through a sewer pipe that lets you out at the sea. You arrive at the End of the World, which is a really just a park at the edge of the sea, and there’s more ahead.  At the end of the world, salvation is a salvage company that redeems old junk from the city. Redemption for you comes in the form of a solar barge, The Redemptress, that takes you to and abandoned oilrig that has been converted into a community garden and living space.

My take on the apocalypse is not meant to be fear mongery but bravery mongery. What’s there to be brave about if you’re not first of all afraid of something?

“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.”
~ Rabindranath Tagore (famous Indian poet)

About Me:
I’m interested in painting, illustration (especially making political cartoons for Huffingpost online), the Occupy movement, culture jamming,  peace for Afghanistan, the environment, doing my part to do something about the state of the world today.
I like building in virtual worlds and reading and riding my bike and hanging with my dog and boyfriend in the other world. My favorite band is the Tragically Hip from Canada. At the moment I’m rereading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Slideshow by PJ Trenton:

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