Sometimes things come together. Everything clicks into place, the stars are all lined up or something.
A brilliant bunch of people converge on a point, the sun shines and the atmosphere embraces any people who are unconvinced. Discussions are fruitful, honest and of an intelligent level. There seems to lack the headbanging rhetoric of parts of the movement. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves, the logistics work almost without hitch.
That was our festival this year; small, about 120 people in all, but incredibly rewarding. The thing that struck was the fact that so many new alliances and contacts were made in such a short time. Too short – the major complaint we have had is that there wasn’t enough time.
To attract a number of voices from differing parts of the anti-capitalist movement; Occupy, UK Uncut, the radical Left, grassroots movements, Radical NGOs, entertainers and video activists was the aim and truly achieved. The festival attracted not a flat ‘representation of the movement’ which would be labourious and, frankly, tedious but a sample of the Zeitgeist of resistance in the UK in 2012. Although people hailed from different parts of the movement, they were united in radicalism, energy and a desire for effective activism.
The workshop on the global economy attracted a fair old crowd, there were involved debates around the struggles against and beyond capitalism, the olympics and in the final session about which way forward. But most importantly there were countless conversations and ideas exchanged in between the sessions, over meals and very late into the night.
We’ll leave the festival timetable up on the website to show you a bit of what you missed (or what you particpated in if you were there), the diversity of speakers and the issues addressed.
We have bigger ideas for next year, with different partners in organising the event. Rest assured, it will be limited to a managable number, we’re not after a huge event, we’re interested a quality event. It will be longer (we’ll be starting earlier on Friday, going all day on Sunday and organising the coach back to London on Monday), and there’ll be more in the way of facilities. We are also lookng to expand the artistic side (visual, performance and other types) of things next year.
The festival is not a recruitment device, it is a non-prescriptive event aimed at building links between different people and parts of the anti-capitalist movement. It aims to strengthen radical parts of the movement through establishing links and forging closer links where they already exist. It also aims to give activists a great experience, to recharge their batteries and consider new perspectives.
Watch this space and buy your ticket early next year!
What people said:
“The weekend seemed too short is my only complaint – was just beginning to get to know people a little and whoosh, they were gone.” EW
“What a beautiful weekend in every sense – can’t wait til next year” PT
“I really enjoyed the festival. It was great networking and meeting other groups.” LR
“Great mix of people, it really summed up the best parts of what’s happening at the moment – let me know the dates for next year’s event!” GM