Info page of PGA conference

Content of the PGA Daily of Monday 26-07-2004

Content of the PGA Daily of Monday 26-07-2004


9:00 10:00 Breakfast Big tent big school
09:30 10:00 Introduction and welcome Big tent big school
10:00 11:00 Introduction to gender issues for children Kindergarden big skl
10:00 11:30 Sexual violence accountability Classroom 4 big skl
11:00 12:30 Genderlab drama workshop Gym big school
11:30 13:00 Mens workshop Kindergarden big skl
13:00 14:00 Theatre workshop Memorial park
14:00 15:00 Lunch Tent on football pitch
15:00 16-30 Workers collectives and women initiatives Calssroom 3 big skl
15:00 16:30 Sex workers debate Municipality building
16:30 17:30 Diesel to vegetable oil Outside front big skl
16:30 18:00 nextGENDERation Classroom 2 big skl
17:30 19:00 Essentialism debate Classroom 3 big skl
18:00 20:30 Qweer Serbia video Classroom 9 big skl
20:00 ? Implication of anti-muslim laws in France Classroom 5 big skl

  Top         Report menu  

What about PGA?

PGA process discussions started off with an introduction to what PGA is and it ’s recent history.To ensure that more people would be able to take part in the discussions,we broke into smaller groups.Here the introduction of participants took part and the agenda for the discussions was decided.As there wasn ’t much time,group I didn’t go any deeper into any particular issue,but raised different questions and discussion point that might be important for the PGA process and network.

  • What is the PGA?Local connections between movements and local activities. The globality is just a name.So maybe more correctly,we are “Local People’s Action ”.
  • What is the history of PGA in the last ? ve years and what has been the history of different movements in the local areas of people participating in the PGA conference?More people talking about what they are coming from,not only what is PGA and how we network within it.
  • What visibility does PGA have to different movements?What information is available about how PGA is structured and what is and is not PGA?
  • How can we have better continuity and sharing of knowledge and visibility,in space and time?
  • How can PGA be more of an inspiration source,also in between conferences and other activities?How to sustain the feeling of networking within PGA?
  • What are info points!?Do they work?How could they work better?Could info points be facilitating local contacts?Ideas about point-to-point networks were presented.
  • What does PGA do now?Are we moving away from global days of actions and if so,what comes next?
  • Was there ever a decision on whether PGA should participate or not participate in Social Forums?
  • How to build more connections between movements in Europe and Africa??

  Top         Report menu  

Anyone to be the next PGA Convernor?

Coordination Meeting Sunday ’s Report

  1. Visibility group
    The cultural centre of Belgrade has planned to have 3 speeches on Thursday as well as projection of films and then to have a party.The director of the cultural centre has many different things to deal with,like the fact that 3 different television channels will be there on Thursday.This last point,and the fact that one of the films they want to show is one of Michael Moore ’s,and the fact of having speeches are problematic. It ’s important that everybody talks about it today before the co-ordinating group reach an agreement tonight.
  2. Lighting
    A new working group has been created to deal with the problem of lighting the outside areas at night.
  3. Translation
    There have been some problems during the discussions,as in yesterdaynight ’s meeting after dinner.There are not enough people volunteering to translate.The system of pooler written on the pass indicating the different languages people speak doesn ’t work.
  4. Medical team
    The medical team is hard to find … They need some more mobile phones, which the co-ordinating meeting tries to finance.
  5. EMMA group (security)
    Even harder to find …
  6. Kitchen
    The co-ordination between the autonomous kitchen and RAD ’s kitchen is difficult.Is it a good idea if they serve meals at the same time? 400 meals are served whereas only 200 persons have registered themselves at the infopoint. -On top of that,150 workers are coming today at 1.30 p.m.…
  7. Bar
    The bar is settled on the main camp, near the school whereas it should have been at the football camp,where there is nobody.No protests are expected but if there is some,it will be given to the collective.Couldn ’t the drinks be sold on donations? Is the children group annoyed by the bar ’s presence?
  8. Media
    The media group is organising a trip outside the camp to meet people,hand out leaflets and talk with them.Another media group is existing with one person
    only …Concerning the trip outside,no Serbian will be able to accompany the group as they will already have lots of things to do with the coming workers …
    not talking about the punk concert tonight.One precision:not only Serbians are needed to deal with drunken people, there are lots of French here too …
  9. Newspaper
    It ’s really difficult to print a newspaper without ink.So the question is what must be printed in priority:the practical guide in Serbian for the coming workers (but
    only here for one day),the newspaper or a third and shorter text for the workers?
    The newspaper could also be only stick on the walls.

  Top         Report menu  

Talking about animal equality…

Why is there no meat nor fish in the meals at the pga conference?

Among the persons who have been organising the pgac,many are vegetarian or vegan for the animals and many among them want equality between humans and animals.What does that mean? What one usually answers to justify the fact that he/she doesn ’t take into account the fundamental interests of other animals (their interest not to suffer,not to be killed,etc.),what one usually says to justify their exploitation,corresponds approximately to these three categories:

  1. animals are not members of our species (speciest way of thinking)
  2. they are not intelligent,free or capable of thinking
  3. they are constituents of nature and their function is to be eaten (« animals do eat each others,don ’t they !)

If we agree with an argument like « we can exploit animals because they don ’t belong to our biological group »,then we can no longer reject racism,sexism,etc.Is this kind of thinking acceptable? Does it justify anything?

On the other hand,if we accept that intelligence,freedom or the ability to think become criteria to decide how to treat somebody,it would allow such things as feeding a child or an idiot in order to eat them afterwards. We all agree that nothing could justify such practices:it ’s not because a person is intelligent that we have to take her into consideration,it ’s because he/she can suffer of the consequences of our acts,because we can make her life enjoyable or horrible,whether she be an idiot or a genius! Last but not least,we don ’t believe that anything like « nature » exists: we don ’t believe that the world is governed by any kind of mystical order,which would assign a speci fi c role to each and every being,an order which we should respect or worship,which we should follow as an example … In the history of the Christian Western countries such a mystical order has always been used to legitimate all sorts of dominations:patriarchism,speciesm of course (speciesm is the discrimination based on the species like sexism-sex,racism-race)but also kingdoms,racism,slavery, colonisation,the oppression against children,etc.

Once you ’ve started considering someone in a purely functional way in relation to a kind of general order,you ’re on the way to dominate this person (for example,this is the social perspective of totalitarist systems : the individuals are considered as merely mechanics of the general order, which is the only thing that matters).
As a consequence,we think that it is not justi fi ed to refuse to take into account what the animals are living,what they would like to do or what they try to avoid;it ’s not justi fi ed and it ’s illegitimate … so we think this oppression is not defendable.In this way,any kind of animal exploitation is an injustice,as much as it would be if it were applied to humans.

As unfair.In the same way.In an equal way. The first beings concerned by this question are all the animals we eat :on the one hand because the amount of victims is horribly huge (every single year,about one milliard vertebrates and thousands of milliards of fi sh are killed in every country).On the other hand,because this massacre -organised so that people can eat meat and fish -is an extremely common habit and occupies a huge place in our imaginary and a central place in our meals; this habit seems to create part of the basis for social relationships.When we kill the animals in order to eat them and treat them as insensitive objects,we show a strong despisement for them; this despisement,this contempt,seems to nourish and consolidate the relationsships between humans, it seems to allow humans to see each others as equals,feeling much above non-humans,standing proudly on top of heaps of cadavers.We are not animals!We are not livestock!

We wish to establish new relation-ships with non-humans,relation-ships which are no longer based on domination but instead on the acknowledge-ment of what non-human animals need,what they desire,what they reject;new relation-ships which would eradicate contempt,indifference and inequalities.

That ’s why,in the same way as we fight against sexism so that men stop defining themselves as more valuable than women and stop exploiting them,we want humans to stop de fi ning themselves as superior to the other animals;we want humans to reject any form of exploitation. We don ’t ask people to feel pitiful for the animals, we simply ask for justice!

  Top         Report menu  

Sunday 25th Coordination meeting

  1. Coordination meeting
    It was agreed to hold the next meetings at 8.30 pm instead of 8 pm so that those who want to participate have enough time to have dinner beforehand.
  2. Bar
    Because of the security problems it might provoke because some people get violent when they ’ve been drinking too much,it was decided that there won ’t be any more bar on the site.See point 6 about the security team.
  3. Gender day -today
    The issue was raised that there might be some security problems around the queer night performance taking place tonight,as it could attract homo/lesbophobic reactions.Give a hand to the emma team!
  4. Medical team
    The members of the medical team still need more volunteers.So please sign on the board in the information point to give a hand! The members of the medical team now wear orange armbands so that they can be easily identified.They have formed 2 teams to make shifts 24 hours a day.They are now based in room 4 in the main school building,the last room on the right hand side when you enter the school.You can fi nd the phone numbers to reach them on the door of room 4,at the entrance of the building,at the info point and the security team should also be able to reach them.
  5. Conveners
    See elsewhere in this newspaper
  6. EMMA – Security team
    EMMA still needs more volunteers!!!And they pointed out that it ’s really important there should be Serbo-Croatian speakers in each of their teams. More particularly,some persons were worried about the fact that drunken people got near the tents were the children are sleeping,in the children area.So an effort has to be made to find a solution to avoid drunken people to wander all around the site. In this effort to try to avoid any kind of trouble (with the neighborhood,with people who would like to sleep,with the children area,etc.)it was agreed that people are asked to stay quiet during the night between 3 am and 8 am,both on the school site (inside as well as outside the buildings)and on the football fi eld.The main school building will be closed during the night too.The security team asks the persons in charge to make sure they lock their rooms at night when they don ’t use them anymore (kitchen,queer room,etc.). A report will be made about how it went last night,to see if any improvement can be made and if people can come up with other suggestions to deal with security problems.
  7. Visibility day – to make PGA visible
    The cultural center of Belgrade has confirmed it will possible to hold an event there on Thursday.As said,there will be speeches on privatisation,and from 9 to 11 pm a Michael Moore film (special wish of the people of the cultural center).The visibility group asked for autonomy about the decisions concerning the program as they ’re running short of time and have to make some advertisement through the radio,etc. During the rest of the afternoon,it will be an open space for everybody to get involved and create activities (theatre,etc.)>It was argued that it would be good if it wasn ’t only a few speakers but something more diverse and representative of the horizontal and participative spirit of the PGA. If you want to take part in the program,you can attend the visibility group meetings at 1.30 pm,every day,under the blue tent where the meals are served.
  8. DSM
    The issue was raised that many people from the DSM (the local conveners for our conference here)don ’t participate to coordination meetings or to daily practical tasks but mainly to public image /media events which raise both a political problem but also a technical problem in terms of link with local context and technicalities.
    It was answered that the few of them that are here are doing what they can and that it ’s as much a problem for them to be so few.
  9. Resnik
    Resnik,the site where the conference should have taken place in the fi rst place (10 km away from here)and where some people were still organising activities,was closed by the police yesterday night when a big party was taking place.The people who were staying there moved here in Jajinci and are willing to organise some workshops.So keep an eye on the boards at the info point.
  10. Registration
    Too many people haven ’t registered yet:only 300 have whereas we are approximately 400.It ’s a problem because the organisation won ’t have enough money to pay for the food and other practical things.The other problem is that RAD and the autonomous kitchen prepare food according to the number of people who have registered and,at some point,there might not be enough food for everybody … Don ’t forget that you can still pay less than the official 5 euros a day if you can ’t afford it … and that you can also pay more if you can afford it in order to support the others. While you ’re registering at the info point,don ’t forget to volunteer for the tasks like helping to prepare the meals,cleaning,facilitating,becoming a member of the security team or the medical team,etc.

  Top         Report menu  

Important gender question

The gender question is a central issue for the conference,Mathieu explains.There are 13 workshops oragnised about this subject,and a specific Gender Day.It is interesting to understand how this began. «this problem is often ignored in the movement, even though it is always there.Every day,in the most “innocent “of behaviour we can see this domination of women by men.Actually we are all conditioned by society,to repeat this behaviour sub-conciously.»

«For example,to take the popular activist meetings,it is so typical that the majority of men are more vocal. And worse! One can see that if a woman make a proposals,she is ignored the first time,but men are normally heard. In our imagination,it is the men who have the decision making power,a role that is not given to women.Even where people should be aware of these issues,men are treating women according to their physical appearance rahter than their arguments.In previous PGA conferences, there were attempted rapes.

The rules of our patriarchal culture are imposed from childhood.One can see at shools the books are full of the stereotypes and more genreally, in society,there is a very strong model of patriarchal domination. Because the men don’t suffer from this domination it is easy for them to ignore the issue and not ask questions.Luckily feminism came and challenged the system and asked the questions. It is not possible for men to fully undestand the situation women are in and how that makes women feel.However they can begin to try and understand by reading feminist literature. In an ideal situation,we could abolish gender » says Mathieu.

  Top         Report menu  

Self-organising an autonomous kitchen

A big group of people that arrived on Monday to prepare the conference,had to fi nd a solution to the question of food (if possible,according to the principle of self-organizing ,even if it was just for the days before the conference.This is how the autonomous kitchen was created,even though it was “laborious ”,according to one the participants.
Also,some people were not happy that the Rad kitchen would prepare the meals during the conference.Rad is a self managed cooperative,and the workers take a wage.They often work with militant groups but people felt that we should also have a kitchen that is self organised.People felt it important that we should be able to provide for ourselves,that is why we came here.Some people were disappointed that the cooking was seen as secondary and many times there was nobody to help cook.However,eating is the most important thing!Luckily even if it is hard to coordinate the kitchen,things are starting to happen.
An idea was passed before the conference that the kitchen should continue and that a new stone fireplace should be made where we could prepare meals outside.And also that people would participate.The only difference between now and before is that we used to have donations,and now we use meal tickets for both kitchens.5 Euros per day may seem a lot,but the price is negotiable. Anyway,we have our ideas,and we have to try and make use of what we have to fit.
For breakfast the principles of self organisation has been maintained.The meeting of the kitchen group is held every morning at that time,and everyone is welcome.

  Top         Report menu  

Do You Want To Say Something!?!


Yesterday,people are not understanding a part in the article about the meeting interruption.The problem is the first sentences: “Yesterday evening,people from (...)Reznick enter the space. An English guy took off his trousers (...). This really annoyed people who leave the room (...). The reason why people are so upset (...) is because they know the people interrupting the meeting. THESE people would have have been preventing the smooth functionning of the organization over the last six month (...)”
So OK,when I read that, I can understand that “people from Reznick ” is contain in this “THESE”.And that is nor the truth.
Concerning the fonctionment of the newspaper,another precision seems necessary:as anybody is free to write an article in it, the newspaper is not representative of the PGA.
What’s more,nobody can speak in the name of PGA. One mustn ’t forget that an article cannot claim to be objective. This is the first criticism which can be made against the traditional medias, which claim to be neutral in order to aim at a larger audience, to sell better to their announcers. For example, let’s consider a riot. ‘There was a riot’ seems to be the most neutral way to report this piece of information.Nevertheless, its impact won’t be the same depending on the kind of media that will refer to it.What’s more,this difference will be visible at the scene of action too,according to which side of the bar.

  Top         Report menu  

Kids Space

Sienna Rodgers,age 10, a caixa player with Rythms of Resistance(london) writes: “Today at the 4pm samba workshop for kids there weren ’t many kids. In fact,there was only me and another boy called Medeo.It was good. People learnt the songs quickly. Tommorow though hopefully there will be a few roma kids and maybe some serbians. About the PGA its a bit boring because there are no kids my age. The only meeting I have attended so far is the morning samba meeting and I was the facilitator which is quite hard because you cant shut adults up most of the time.”

Ash Brewen,age 8,  feels that most of the adults are ageist.“ the facilitators dont facilitate properly.If the kids do something wrong because they haven ’t been taught how to do a meeting,the facilitators don't correct them but they do with adults.Say an adult deviates fromthe subject then the facilitators will correct them but with kids they ignore them.I
had this experience myself with the first general meeting.I ‘ve lived in squat communities in London and france where there are mostly adults. Sometimes the adults say lets get some kids in but they give up after a week or two.”

Kerstin Rodgers,a parent and an ROR drummer writes: In fact despite the desire of the PGA conference to include children the reality is that very few children are here.What happens to people when they have children?Do they give up and stay at home watching telly? Are all the young radicals in their teens,twenties and thirties that are here right now going to stop travelling,being activists,taking risks when they have children? Do you have to give up your life when you have kids or can you incorporate them? Surely bringing our children to these events is part of their education... I just spoke to a young activist who confidently declared ” well you make a choice: do you live your life for you or for
your kids?” And at the ripe old age of 26 he declared that “Its because I want to live my life that I have decided to not have children ”. (I didnt tell him that its unlikely to be him making that choice anyway, its generally the woman). Positive reasons to bring kids:they show the locals that we are just like them in that we have families and responsibilities too.

  Top         Report menu  


There ’s a noisy Batucada show tomorrow at 6:00 a-m. The juggling workshop is a secret self-defense workshop. Radical activists are here! Other peoples think they are dissidents.
People are sleeping when dogs bark. This newspaper is written by junkies! For kids (not only),the meetings seem just like school. Yesterday ’s newspaper was read by everyone! The medical team ’s meeting is moving location to a psychiatric hospital. Regristration of the passport is just for us. Somebody is pissing on tents at night!!! Some others says that they saw a flock of sheep ;0)

  Top         Report menu  

Our way of life

The role of the media is to allow communication of a society with itself.Control of this communication by the state and private interests is the best way to avoid any embarrassing debates.The mainstream media never questions this control which is why it is necessary to re-appropriate the media.
This newspaper is an experiment in reappropriation.It is important that everybody can participate in its redaction.To this aim,an open meeting is organized every morning,at 10:30 the computer room to decide the content of the next day ’s paper.But it is possible to write an article at any moment: there is a “daily news ”folder on the desktop of the computers. where one can save txts.At 18:00, layout begins with the available texts.If there is too many articles or they are too long,the choice is hard.It is better if this choice is not individual...And as for the long articles,we have the internet! So it is possible to work without a leader...

  Top         Report menu  

dd. 17-02-2005