(Please see the post below this letter for meeting details)
I am heartened to see the re-commencement of meetings of the Left Unity project, Second Life Left Unity.
The Aims and Principles of SLLU state – “The group offers the means of a left environment, the term Unity does not claim anything since there is no monopoly. It is a proposition.” – and I feel the honourable history of SLLU has met that aim. Many people from different aspects of the left have used SLLU to rally many others to causes we can all unite on. SLLU has proved time and time again NOT to be a sectarian, evangelical left sect – and has been a welcoming space for the left of different hues.
The aims and principles state, “The SLLU stands for the transformation of society. To replace capitalism with an alternative classless, stateless economic system based on collaborative democratic ownership and control of the key sectors of the Second Life (SL) economy. A system based on physical freedom; artistic freedom and environmental protection rather than private profit and promotion of Real-Life mass produced corporate products.”
This aim is fundamental to the use of virtual environments to be used as freely as possible without exploitation. The recent disappearance of the SLLU shop is a real pity – it was a resource under used and under publicised. Having said that – the use of the physical spaces owned by SLLU by SLLU members for agitation, publicity for issues etc is second to none. Voices usually silenced or filtered by the mainstream media have managed to be heard – and this has led from SL through to the mainstream media, as we have seen in the past with fights against fascist groups such as the French Front National; union battles such as the fight in Italy against vicious IBM bosses and the recent Greek uprisings and Palestinian solidarity demos.
Virtual worlds offer a place to experiment with alternative – fair - economies and social systems. Second Life does not do this, with its tier system of rights according to ability to pay. SLLU has offered space for left artists to express themselves free of charge (for example in the garden for the victims of capitalism and the camp we set up for people to create their own expressions of protest against the capitalists system). In giving voice to those who are usually silenced, SLLU has been meeting its third aim – “The SLLU will provide political support and solidarity to all those who are involved in fighting back against injustice, whether it be trade unionists, community organisations, tenants groups, anti nuclear protesters, animal rights campaigners, anti racist organisations, feminists, anti-war groups, mental health advocacy groups, LGBTI rights organisations and other campaigns and protest movements.”
I won’t patronise members by going through the rest of the aims and principles of the group, they are here for all to see. These aims and principles were created back in 2005/06 by a group of people from diverse backgrounds in real life – some members of real life political/ activist groups, and some who were from none. The aims and principles have been tweaked and improved upon over the years through democratic discussion.
No individual can claim to be SLLU – SLLU is made up of people across the world united by these aims and principles.
The recent call for new meetings by Smoke Wijaya is exactly the way SLLU can be re-ignited – SLLU does not go away much as in countries across the world, left unity is important in order to challenge the current hegemony. In times of crisis, such as that affecting the world at the moment, were workers conditions are attacked by those who control the financial cogs and wheels, the anti-capitalist left MUST unite.
Although unable to attend the meetings for the next few weeks (personal circumstances has stemmed by second life- I WILL be back – and look forward to meeting my SL friends again soon), I hope they go well. I will remind people, that all that was achieved by SLLU was started when three people met and decided to build a left unity project. Dick Marellan, Higgledpiggle Snoats and myself created a space for the left to meet and plan installations. The original idea was to create a space where lefties could share their real life experiences and have a welcoming space in which to express them. SLLU took off in a way none of us could have imagined.
SLLU, as a place for lefties to meet without hierarchy, is vital. The left groups in SL usually have a structure, even though this structure may be informal – there usually is a “leader” - a core activist plugging away at sometimes single issues, or a multitude of issues.
I would suggest that those activists (even if the initial numbers are small) who do attend meetings should contact as many left groups as possible, and show them our aims and principles and invite them along to share their experiences and perhaps a synthesis can be reached of common action and activity.
SL needs SLLU- and those who meet must ensure people from across the grid come together without prejudice.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
SL Left Unity will resume its regular membership meetings inworld (in SL) at the original day and time, namely:
Sundays, 2 pm SLT (Sun 17:00 New York - Sun 14:00 SF - Sun 22:00 GMT - Mon 07:00 Syndey) at SLLU Unity Station: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Oculea/156/152/44
SLLU will continue the meetings starting from Sunday the 5th of Juli.
If you have proposals for agenda-items, please add them in the comments section below.
Posted by Smoke Wijaya at 14:17