Monday, 2 November 2009

Minutes of October meeting. Turnout - 25 comrades from across SL/the world

The meeting covered a lot of points – none of which were concluded – which is a fantastic start as it showed the enthusiasm people from across the left diaspora had for working together on different campaigns.

In particular the threat of the ultra right groups in rl and sl was highlighted, and work continues in various groups across sl to combat this. The coming together of many comrades involved in this will perhaps help to set up educational links.
The Palestinian movements were also highlighted – and again there were various groups represented who can cooperate on various activities effecting both sl and rl.

The introduction and reasons for the meeting were set out thus by Plot Tracer:
SLLU was set up in 2006 originally as an educational organisation – the original idea came from me and three others- that idea was to bring together anti-capitalist SL users in order to create SL installations etc. SLLU then became involved in campaigns that were reactive to conditions (eg. the anti-Front National campaigns); Pro active (educational on poverty/ sexism etc) and proactive /reactive (Palestinian / Greek uprising campaigns).

SLLU was never meant as a sectarian organisation where one group and one “line” was taken on real world campaigns. It is meant as an organisation where people from across the anti-capitalist left spectrum can meet and share ideas – and perhaps link up on issues they agree with.

The “left” does not have to agree on everything – if that was the case, then we would be forcing uniformity upon people. We cannot do this. We can only come to the table with our points of view and agree or disagree – but most importantly, we must either allow others to come to our pints of view through reciprocal education – or agree to disagree. If people cannot do this, they must stay in their own “sect” and stay angry with the world.

The conditions today in 2009 are somewhat different from the conditions in 2006 – there are real opportunities for left gains – and the recent elections in Portugal, Germany and Greece have shown that. People are looking for alternatives to the ultra-capitalism that have almost brought the world to the financial brink.

SLLU has recently been “quiet” – but SLLU has never ceased to be working. The SLLU feminist group has been meeting – albeit sporadically. Hopefully the Feminist Group will continue to inform us and help those of us who find it difficult to accept there are problems within our society that socialism itself will not change.
SL is a link in the chain of online activism. Twitter/ Facebook/ blogs etc all have their place. Sl’s unique points are the ability to “physically” meet within a space at a specific time. It means meetings/ demonstrations and conversations can be had by many people at once.

Recent campaigns using social networks/ blogs etc have shown that online campaigns can be effective – especially when dealing with legislation etc (see the recent Twitter/blogosphere campaign against Trafigura and their injunction placed on the British Parliament).

: And that is what this meeting is for. It is to set a “homework” which will take the form of a report you all will come back together in one month to give.
This may sound perhaps a bit school teacher ish... but...

[14:32] Plot Tracer: it is for a reason
The fact is, a lot of left orgs across the world are wakening up to the social networking thing... and I think SLLU especially can be a hub for these.

Sorry – it is for two reasons – the other being for you, SL users to report here what you have been active doing. This could mean others at this meeting can offer you help/support/comradeship in what you are doing. Could you introduce yourselves, tell us something about your real life activism and if you are involved in SL /internet activism? If you have a blog/ facebook site that reflects your activism, could you please mention that?– in the case of Facebook, my real name is Neil Scott – can you search for me and send a friend request? In the case of a blog, can you mention the url if it is an actisit blog – and we can all link up with it? After we all introduce ourselves I would like to set the homework and the date for the next meeting. OK, first…

I would like us all to meet up again for a reason. We all come from different activism points.
In order to make the most of this place - ie. SL/SLLU we should meet up - share info - and share rl/ internet campaigns we are part of. We need to ensure SL/ SLLU is a part of the chain of web activism - or we need to make it a useful part.

[15:07] Plot Tracer: ok - this is the small task
Activists to come with examples of online campaigns – three types

1. Campaigns that are reactive to conditions (example – Trafigura , in other words were protest and action are concerned)
2. Campaigns that are PRO-active (example – the 16 days of action, in other words, campaigns were education is the outcome)
3. Pro-active reactive (example – reacting to SL incursions of right wing racist organisations with a campaign/ educational etc)
Come with these in order to inform all at the meeting what we can involve ourselves in. SLLU has a blog –

we can use this monthly meeting as a hub for our online activism.
Can i say that i think sl should not be something apart from the other social networks, but something that adds to all of their effectiveness as one activist platform? does that make sense?

i was out of sl for most of this year (nearly eight months)... and what happened here in that time didn’t filter out to me (and i am an extensive user of social networks/ tech) – so we need to revisit some of the ways SLLU used to get left issues onto the pages of our rl newspapers and discuss whether or not these methods are relevant nowadays or should we be looking towards other new networking methods?
[15:12] Deruub Pastorelli: you should keep in mind that sl is hosted on a server owned by a company that gives the log to the fbi without even blinking so its not the most save way

[15:12] Plot Tracer: so - i think we should play to the advantages of all of these platforms

[15:12] Zoe Parness: yes ... but I feel it would be useful to think about what we can achieve in SL which couldnt be achieved in another medium
[15:12] Kara Spengler: with emerald you can encrypt IMs

[15:13] Plot Tracer: we should blog (those who do) twitter/ facebook etc - and also meet up here to plan cross social network campaigns (and sl exclusive ones of course)

[15:13] Bakari Xaris: Deruub no one is going to plan to take over a factory over SL :)

[15:13] Plot Tracer: i disagree, bakari - a factory takeover COULD be planned here.

[15:13] Plot Tracer: :)

[15:14] Deruub Pastorelli: some ppl have to think twice what they do on internet

Next meeting will be Friday 13th November at 2pm SLT Venue tba

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