Infopage for the PGA wintermeeting

Documentation of the PGA-Europe Wintermeeting, 12 - 15 Feb 2005 in Linz

  1. PGA Process: Problems & possible solutions
    1. Theoretical discussion on PGA structure/problems
      1. Participative approach: responsibility/consumption
      2. Relations with outside: invisibility/involvemen
      3. Structures
      4. Geographical and cultural differencies: local activity / global solidarity
      5. Internal communication
      6. About PGA process in Russia and esx-USSR
      7. Feedback from Wob Marley (winter meeting organizing groupe)
    2. What can we do?
      1. Things that had been decided to be done but that are not getting done
      2. A brain storming about other possible solutions
      3. What will we do ?
  2. Proposal of convenorship
    1. Proposal of convenorship for the next european PGA conference (Summer 2006).
      1. To continue with the dynamic in the Eastern Europe (included Balkan) started with the Belgrade conference
      2. To clarify the distinction between this potential convenor and "Sans Titre"
      3. To promote the following ideas/forms of organising
      4. Additional information: "Sans-titre" network hallmarks
    2. Reformulations, comments and decision during the meeting about above (proposal)
      1. Some questions and limits adding to the proposal above
      2. Discussion about the proposal
      3. Decision about the new Convenor.
  3. Feedback and projects
    1. Feedback WSF, Belgrade reflection
    2. About the next global conference in Nepal
    3. Dissent feedback
    4. Caravan Samba climatico
    5. Estafette
    6. Funding

Documentation of the PGA-Europe Wintermeeting, 12 - 15 Feb 2005 in Linz

This report was made in a collaborative work... Due to anti-spam reasons names are not mentioned - (editorial website).

It was a lot of work to synthesise and make it readable and understandablefor other people. It's aimed it helping people to get involved in theprocess, understand it and it should be used (as well as the belgrade'sspokes council reports), as a base for Tuebingen and next PGA processmeetings.

Hopefully, missing part of the discussions (as the one about the asianprocess and nepal will be sent soon...)

It would help a lot if people can take the time to print it for tuebingenmeetings, as well as in the various pga linked groups and infopoints.

So please all of you, take a bit of time to read it!

1. PGA process: problems and possible solutions.

hey ! PGA Europe is in trouble : formulating problems and looking for solutions...

This part comes from  a discussion about PGA process. This discussion was born from a general feeling of disapointment about the lack of involvment of more people into this winter meeting and into part of  the projects coming from the belgrade spokes council. It was in the end pretty much constructive and we hope it can help the network to go further with more understanding and more involvment. We splitted ourselves in two groups to discuss the issue and did a bit of synthesis work afterwards. Some people were very new to the network, thers knew it quite well. We haven't bee trying to find consensus and part of these points are contradictory with others. The idea was to give visibility to various problems seen by various people participating to the meeting and to discuss it a bit together... Enjoy !

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1.1. Theoretical discussion on PGA structure/problems

A.  Participative approach: responsibility/consumption

PGA , as an anti-authoritarian networking tool, has only quite simple and minimal specific structures (lists, newsletter, website, infopoints) that shouldn't need too much work to be run. But it sometimes look as if the anti-autoritarian principle that "no one represent PGA" turns into no one feeling responsible for it.

Everybody taking part in the events of a network should feel concerned and at least give a little bit of his/her time to support the structures of the network and not only to consume the events organized by the network.

Conference visitors, who do not care for the network, adopt consumerist attitude and do not participate in network processes

  • if no one comes to the wintermeeting, then the activity is reduced to big events, leaving empty space in between and thus creating continuity problems

  • responsibility as it is spread around the network tends to get lost somewhere, which doesn't help to get things done when it is needed

  • There's a need to find some kind compromise between efficiency and decentralisation.- there are big differences of distribution of power and involvment between people, who feel obligated/non-obligated to do things depending on knowledge/belonging to the history of the network, availability of time., etc.

B.  Relations with outside: invisibility/involvement

PGA seemed like an attempt to build an alternative anti-authoritarian network that would be different than the more lobby orientated / institutions / mass consumerism big networks such as Social Forums. It can look paradoxical that part of the people supposedly involved in this network sometimes seem to spend more time and energy into building things around such events as Social Forums (using PGA as a kind radical credibility public relation card) than to give involvement in their own autonomous structures.

Does that happen because it is simply easier to take part in and more visible on the «big» political/media scene or is it because it's seen as the better way to break out of the activist ghetto? Are we more interested to go to the things that already exist or to build our own stuff?

On the other side of it, it's quite obvious that if we don't devote time and energy to autonomous structures, more and more people new to activism will rather go to more institutionnal events.

  • People new to the network feel a problem of a gap between the outside environment and the network, seen as limited to action days or to professional actvists.

  • At the beginning PGA really seemed too hidden and not transparent enough and demanded too much effort to get the information. That has apparently changed since the last year. It looks more transparent, but is still dense and difficult to relate with

  • People still have general difficulties to access to clear and easy information and seem not to get involved as it looks too difficult to understand. A lot of people outside of the network seem to have a really inaccurate view of what PGA is.

  • Virtuality of the network (hp, mailing list...) creates further problems of engagement

  • Some people still feel outside of PGA even if they've been spending time and sharing projects with people that are involved since the beginning.

  • There's a problem of visibility as PGA doesn't have any central office or representatives. There would be at least a need for a regular newsletter.

  • There are problems with the capacity of feeling as being part of the network, there are people, who identify themselves with the history of the network and some who do not...

C. Structures

  • Institutionnalization/flexibility : there is a problem with instutionnalization of network. As it becomes quite old we have to take great care to preserve flexibility and keep the network structure from becoming too rigid

  • there is a danger of "left radical jetset" as there are people who don't question the inner organisation, because they work a lot in it

  • People just share the PGA principles during the PGA-meeting and when they are at home they are not ready to address their own problems: informal hierarchy, language divide, task specialization which produces passivity, etc.

  • Do we want to "enforce" the rules or treat them as guidelines, which tend to be diluted?

    content/form Maybe we pay too much attention to the structures and not enough to initiatives that give content to the network outside conferences. We should look more for practices, actions and campaigns creatively linked to PGA that can be done in between conferences and that can keep it alive (such as the refl-actionor sambaclimatico caravan (if it will happen) or other kind of ideas...).

    Since Leiden, there were a lot of discussions about transforming informal hierarchies and making the structures more clear and open. It looks like a lot of improvement has been done structurally speaking, but yet just a few people (and definitely not enough) want to fill these structures once they have been changed.

    The infopoint idea is quite simple: having local groups that can provide informations about PGA and give help in the PGA process. Yet even as a lot of groups and people coming to conferences seem to feel part of the network or close to PGA principles, there are presently only two or three groups around Europe that officialy said they wanted to take the responsability for being a PGA infopoint. Is the concept not clear? Does it seems like it is too much work?

  • Openness/vulnerability As we've seen during the Belgrade preparation and conference, we lack experience and are weak in reacting to some clear sabotage initiatives and attitudes in an open, horizontal network such as PGA. It is good, that we dont have members, strict rules nor willingness to reproduce punishment system, but we should also be able to react to such threats.

D. Geographical and cultural differencies: local activity / global solidarity

  • there are individuals involved in the PGA process during conferences, but who do not have local PGA dynamics nor people with whom they can exchange on the local level about the PGA process

  • there is a problem with the inequality of initiatives and contributions coming from the various part of the world or from the various part of Europe and - the fact that it can easilly turn into reproducing geo-political inequalities and dominations.

    There's a general problem with the process being still mainly based in western Europe.

    We definitely need more reflection on cultural relativism and its limits and about how to work with different cultures, environments and contexts.

    How to put the hallmarks into practice in these various environments even if these hallmarks obviously don't perfectly fit into the local context and political background of collectives/movements involved with PGA?

  • these questions will be developed in the separated report about the global conference in Nepal too.

E. Internal communication

  • It seems that there is not enough communication between various working groups. They don't make their parts of the work coherent with other parts of the project (website people, people who organize conferences, people maintaining the list...).

    Some people don't have the time to read all the email, but would like to stay in touch and feel the need for some kind of regular digest.

    As it happened during Belgrade preparation process, or Linz winter meeting preparation, there's a problem with people sending agressive or insulting emails and generally with relating too much on email list communication.

  • there's a language barrier with most of the communication in the network being made in english and not enough translation.

F. About PGA process in Russia and ex-USSR

(as there were two people from russia present at this meeting, they took the time to report a bit more specifically about the process in russia)

In regard to process in Russia: there is no such thing as a PGA process in ex-USSR. People of Ukraine and Russia who participated in Geneva (Rainbow Keepers) have been keeping some kind of contact till cocha bomba where some of them have gone. These people somehow became less involved with the movement and the link to the global process was lost. Some people from Russia and Ukraine (8 of them) came to Belgrade to try to renew the links between PGA and collectives in ex-USSR countries. Some people have translated part of the newsletter and reports of the conference and published them in "Autonomous Action" magazine as well as in indymedia Russia. It was nevertheless still difficult to create involvement and to bring people to Linz but they're just at the beginning of things. People from Ukraine thought about doing some kind of international meeting in Ukraine. There's more generally a problem with the process in Russia being quite isolated.

Some of the Russian campaigns would really need some international support like the campaign of HIV-positives that has just started by the new network called Frontaids and based in several locations. They protests are really linked to the WTO since if Russia enters into the WTO, the medecine for HIV treatment will become even more unaccessible. After the G8 meeting in the UK, there will be a G8 meeting in Russia in 2006. People are preparing for the future protests in Moscow and will do a first discussion on this issue this month . Some coalition of radical/anarchist collectives and more NGO-type environnmental networks also want to do a campaign next summer against the development of the sea shore destroying the black sea.

G. Feedback from Wob Marley (winter meeting organizing groupe)

will be posted as an open letter to the pga-process mailinglist

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1.2. What can we do?

A. Things that had been decided to be done but that are not getting done

(we did a presentation of these various stuffs and tried to sort it out afterwards...)

  • Report of Belgrade conference. We don't have the report from discussions and minutes which are not yet completed. We need help to put it on web and send it to infopoints for  discussion

  • Basic PGA presentation newsletter need to update it even if a lot of info is still relevant.

  • List of PGA infopoints Groups should put themselves forward so that we can put the list on the web.

  • Regular newsletter We could have a newsletter every 3 months or so.
    Giving information about global conference. These can be printed and given to people by groups involved and especially by the infopoints.

  • Keeping contact with the eastern European? group ideas about keeping in touch with eastern European groups maybe through the ST group's proposal of either helping with or being the convenors

  • Bimonthly digest - Info about what goes on in website

  • Infopoint part on the website

B. A brain storming about other possible solutions

(it was a first list of ideas proposed by the second working group, but we couldn't really take the time to rediscuss it together. So take it as it is : a bit of brillant ideas and chaos...)
  • infopoint structure could enhance communication - problem: to few ppl who provide infopoints (offer a kind of an infopackage, which can be provided for ppl who are interested in and which can be send -> could be a starting point because of passive structure

  • virtuality: we need more moments together; eg. local structures who can spread informations (show films or doing some actions). smaller meetings to get used to each other (more meetings than once every two years) the label PGA?

  • exchange between projects - eg. PGA lists, we communicate, but we don't know with whom we do

  • skill exchange (how do i organize a conference, how are the single meetings structured, how can specialisation be avoided); establish working groups to learn how these things work - notes, which contain experience of organisations eg. the winter meeting. also that convenors for example feel not abandoned, but to spread responsibility through several groups + to represent the network on big (European) meetings

  • there are various possibilities of skill exchanges : eg. Legal Team in strasbourg - when someone went to the lawyer another one went with her/him, who has never been to a lawyer, so that she gets used to that)

  • journals/newsletters - periodical appearance (with a summary of the mailinglists-discussions)

  • how we can make this subject important for us again eg. regularly we can arrange local round tables organized by pga infopoints to discuss pga processes and projects.
    • Decentralised weeks in various infopoints of Europe before conferences in order to do actions, or have both practical activities and discussion together in smaller groups outside big conferences.

C. What will we do ? (Help is needed for all these tasks, so you're all greatly welcome to contact the people and join teams)

The brainstorming/discussions from the day before raising problems within the PGA and possible solutions were printed out and passed around the meeting for comments. Some suggestions for revamping the report were raised eg:label problems then give a concrete example for clarity. Wob Marley convenors will write separate texts on their experiences of organising Linz conference,

  • Website & E-list update : There is some work about the web that should have been done since the Belgrade conference but has not been done yet. Some issues have been raised about pga webpages: they are not coherent, often confusing and it is difficult to find information for people who are not particularly involved and even more for outsiders.

    Maybe the website's structure itself should be modified. There has been constant request by web coordinators to increase people involvement to manage the web and some knowledge would be necessary.

    Also the pga websites need translators. Translators do not need to have highly specialised knowledge and skills in translating. The first proposal is to ask people we know by sending them text to be translated. This proposal did not pass. Another proposal was to emulate the structure of indymedia to use wiki pages for the texts that have to be translated so that people can work on the translation with easy access. This system in translating in indymedia works quite well. Also there could be a list of contacts -the translation team- who can be asked individually to do the translation. Translation team would be a subgroup of the web team. This proposal passed. But people would have to put energy into it to contact people and create a team for these purpose. There are two people interested in helping with it.

    Criticism that has a lot of hidden links inside the web page which are not reachable.
    • Who's doing what list on the website : There was a proposal in Belgrade that was approved by the spokescouncil but that is has not yet done to do a list of groups about 'who is involved with what'. We have this information but it still has to be done. (it will be done by skrati[AT}yahoo[DOT]com and sent on the pga list and website...)

    • Global action list : There is a proposal from Porto Alegre to use 'the global action' list for having discussions about global networking and conferences and follow up the discussion that was started at the WSF in Porto Alegre. However, some people are still using the the 'caravan 99' list instead, which someone regard as low traffik and not much used anymore. Maybe they should be unified so that communication does not run parallel. Asian farmers are in both lists but Latin Americans are only on 'global action' list. Despite the Caravan 99 list is the oldest one and should be use for continuity maybe it just have a lot of people who are not active any more and we should just focus on the 'global action' list.

      Anyway we'll not close the caravan99 one but  just tell people that the other one is in use. skrati[AT]yahoo[DOT]com and nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org will announce the creation of this lis on both pga-europe list and caravan99 and ask intersted people to subscribe.

  • Report of Belgrade conference : It still has to be put together and synthetised. We mainly have the spokes council report and have to lay it out in pdf,  to put a summary in next newsletter and send whole thing to webpages. Put pdf versions up with links. elviejo[AT]greenmail[DOT]ch and nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org will try to finsh it.

  • PGA presentation infosheet : Need updates & translation. Two people volunteered to help set up a translation team with the suggestion to set up a wiki page (emulating the indymedia one) for translators to use. Translations: italian/english, russian/english (both ways) and french to english only. But if text is on the wiki anyone can access it and work on it. watermaria[AT]yahoo[DOT]co[DOT]uk volunteered to write to the translators and also ask webteam to put the text in a more visible spot on the website. nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org has agreed to update the infosheet  a short summary of Belgrade. One suggestion for updating the infosheet was to change the name from 'PGA infopoint newsletter' to 'What is People's Global Action Infosheet'. (still confusion about the new name because its now being called different names by different people so minute taker has added 'infosheet' at the end of each suggestion to distinquish it from 'newsletter'.)

  • Infopoints : Suggestion to write something about what an infopoint is and create a web start-up pack to help interested groups, create a space on the website with information about setting up an infopoint with links and also create a small team of ppl to contact if fledgling infopoints wanted more support, etc.

    Who will do it? Suggestion to ask Del from larc & Michael about forming part of the support team to see what they think about it. zilonis[AT]mail[DOT]ru who was at the meeting, has already agreed to be a support person. A message is going to be sent by watermaria[AT]yahoo[DOT]co[DOT]uk, bohnensack[AT]vegesack[DOT]com to the webpage team about the proposal to add the information and links in the webpages and put in the newsletters.
    Further proposals were made to have a list of infopoints with their addresses plus a contact address to the infopoint support team; maybe at a future date send printed materials to interested ppl if requested and produce a video as well; if any group/individual wanted to be an infopoint but lacked printing facilities they could contact the support team; contact more ppl to ask if they want to be an infopoint and say there is a start-up pack on the webpage.

    What do we want in the start up pack

    • What is an infopoint
    • What to do to become an infopoint
    • PDF version of PGA presentation infosheet
    • Newsletter archive
    • Updates of info points list
    • Skill sharing/People?'s personal experiences of setting up an infopoint

    Other things to add to the infopoint web section

    • Minutes of process mtgs
    • Winter meeting report on how it went, critiques and pass on know how for future organiser
    • Infopoint updates

B. from wob marley will communicate with the pag web people about it.

  • Infopoint newsletter. Larc infopoint has just put up a new pga newsletter and there was another one done recently in french for sans-titre bulletin. Both should be available on pga website by larc people and nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org . zilonis[AT]mail[RU]ru is interested in starting up infopoint in St. Petersburg & will produce a newsletter in the Russian language. Agreed proposal to have a rolling editorial team to roll from team to team and last team has to find the next team for the next newsletter. Current editors should send it for translation, send to infopoints, send to web page.

    Content of Newsletter: can be about conferences, reports of actions, skill sharing information, info about the global process ie: what's going on with other continents, debate about issues and problems, etc, each editorial team can decide.

    Send to web team: mechanism of how the editorial team will be changing and the content as outlined above. The contact of the curren team should be put and updated on the website.

    • Content of next newsletter : this newsletter will be focused on presenting PGA process in Asia and the global conference with an update on the Nepali situation. Collective question came out of the winter meeting about Nepal and it was agreed to get further clarification of the situation in Nepal and send this to the European PGA process list. Trasgu from the Nederlands has been involved in sending information already. Associates in Berlin also have information. The meeting agreed suggestion to do more research/collect information about ANPA, the convenors and the situation in Nepal. skrati[AT]yahoo[DOT]com will send reports of our debates and addings of people involved in the asian pga process on the list..

      Who will put the newsletter together? watermaria[AT]yahoo[DOT]co[DOT]uk & skrati[AT]yahoo[DOT]com will find people to put it together and make sure it happens!? Ask Trasgu, Friday if they want to write something about Nepal for the next newsletter.

  • Eastern European contact work. Some people within the Sans Titre network are especially motiviated to make contact with Eastern groups to organise the next European conference either in France or another part of Europe, and want to get Eastern groups more involved to help develop the dynamic of PGA.

    Additionally, proposal to have a networking team say, 2 ppl, managing the idea of global networking trying to get contacts in Africa, Australasia, and to keep things going in N. America and Latin America. This process point can be further discussed at next preparation meeting for the European conference in 2006.

  • Report of Belgrade conference : We still dont have the reports from most of the workshops (that problem should be seriously adressed in view of the next pga conference....) and the minutes and propsals from the spokes council are yet not put together and therefore not really understandable. which are not yet completed. elviejo[AT]greenmail[DOT]ch and nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org will finish it and do a layout in pdf for both the website and printing.

  • Bi-monthly digest for people who don't have the time to read all the mails on the pga europe list. Marcelle[AT]poivron[DOT]org & nicolu[AT]no-log[DOT]org will try to do it both in french and english.

  • Summary of process decision since Leiden& Belgrade. (You can find Leiden reports on the webpages). It should be done as both leiden and belgrade process decisions are in separate pieces, but we couldn't find anayone at this meeting that could do it. So any volunteers.....???????

  • Proposals sent to the wintermeeting by Serge from Eurodusnie on the PGA-process mailinglist. (complete proposal at the end of the report)

    The proposal of Serge..

    1) I want to do something with accesibilities and abilities.

    So my proposals are:

    * the accessebilities and abilities subject is an integral part of the preparations so the locations are accessible for a bigger group of people.

    * more tabacco and drankfree zones. Including all conference areas (places where workshops are given), part of the eating space and a part of the campsite. Also it will be symphatic as a part of the cultural program in the evening is tabacco and drank free.

    * Workshops about abilities and accessibilities to put that subject on the agenda in several groups and eventually self-help workshops.

    It should be nice that people who doesn't fit into the mainstream abilities visits the PGA conference. Being blind / deaf, sitting in a wheelchair of having psycho-social limitations doesn't affect the capebility to think independedly.

    2) I want to discuss to setup a site based on a Content Management System in the future, so more people can edit and work on the site.

    * I should be nice every PGA conference finds it's home at and not only the European ones. I couldn't realise this functionality at this moment. (Lack of information)

    * For migrating the site to a dynamic CMS (Content Management System) Based site I need webspace with at least one empty MYSQL database, PHP and some people who has more experience with CMS then me. A CMS makes it possible more people are working on a site respecting without changing the layout and structure of the site. (Preventing the site is becoming a mass.) But it always needs good appointments who is doing what. I think only that a group of international editorials can work on the site and we got regulary IRC chat meetings to discuss several things on the site.

    * I think it is good to organise a webmeeting later on, when agreed on the proposals to move to CMS to do and to discuss the technical part. This will be a hardcore Linux meeeting. I think we should use a well documented open source management system and NOT MIR. (Indymedia) Eurodusnie has been stopping MIR, due to poor documentation and bad extensibility. Only some nerds can make modifications on the CMS. The PGA CMS should be multilangual. I think this must be held in a environment with a lot of Linux PC, like an alternative internet cafe. If we are working it is also handy to make a flexible subscription script for subscribing a conference. When in a database it could be querried on several ways things can be placed in a wordprocessor document like It saves a lot of work processing e-mails into documents.

    * Also the site NEEDS translaters who can be called or mailed easily and can translate text for the website in a reasonable time. If you look at the PGAconference site of Belgrade you see a lot of things were not translated.

    * Even the languages of the PGAconference site should be choosen. Now it is (English, Serbo-croat(current convenor), Russian, French, German and Spanish. I think the chosen languages should have a translator. - Serbo-Croat should be changed into the language of the new convenor.

    * I think a complete overhaul of the site isn't a bad idea, but to be honest this decission should be taken at the world PGA meeting in Nepal. I think it is important people everywhere on the world on an internet cafe can add some stuff on the page. So a CMS can do a great job. Also that page should be visible on every browser including Lynx and Arachne (Simple text browser) - That doesn't mean that the page can nicely degrade to older browsers. We should bring access to the site also to more poor collectives.

    3) About the evaluation.

    * A few days before the conference Nolly has taken over making the Dailies from me, because I was unable to handle the chaotic situation @ the PGA office in Jajinci. - Also I stopped updating the webpage till after the conference due to the same reasons. This is that I have an ability problem that I cannot handle stress and chaotic situations. I will collapse and cannot do anything anymore. - When possible I think the editorial should have their own office, seperated from the people who are typing reports or do any other PGA related typingwork. - For getting rest during the conference I had also "private" accomodation in the city of Belgrade due to my ability problem. I was the nearly the whole month of July in Belgrade for helping setup the conference.

    4) PGA World.

    * So far I can see at the date of 17 - 21 September 2005 it is difficult for us to go to the PGA World. For us a few month later is better I think. But the opinion of ONE or FEW collective(s) is NO reason to change the date of a meeting. It will differ if many (substantial number of) collectives has problems with that date. If this date is good for other collectives this date must be accorded so the preparation of the meeting in Nepal can continue.

    Those present went through the proposals Points 1.1 to 1.3) to be discussed during the preparation process of the next conference.

    Point 2.1) need for clarification of the aims of the websites during next prep meeting of European conference and suggestion to have a meeting with the web team present to discuss it, as they are doing the work on the different sites.

    2.2 & 2.3) very technical and nobody present was technical enough to discuss it.

    2.4) a decision had already been taken about translators earlier in meeting.

    2.5) we agreed to this point.

    2.6) we agreed.

    Point 3) added to the Belgrade reflection minutes from Linz.

    Point 4) we didn't discuss.

  • What to do with the discussion above about problems and looking for other solutions.? One of the solutions coming out of yesterday has already been incorporated : the infopoint kit on the website..

    A proposal was made not to discuss the problems/solutions report further at next pga process and conference preparation meetings. It's now a first list of ideas/brainstorming for further discussions at the next European conference preparation meeting. Point was made that we can discuss things such as new ideas and take initiatives but we can't change the basic structures of the network outside conferences.

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2. Proposal of convenorship

2.1.Proposal of convenorship for the next european pga conference (summer 2006).

We, (a group of people from the French-speaking area, involved in the "Sans Titre" Network), decided to propose ourselves as convenors for the next PGAe conference.

Sans-titre is a network of groups and individuals involved in autonomy/alternatives building (both in squatted urban areas or rurals farms and projects...), aniticapitalist and anti-authoritarian struggles.

We have sans-titre meetings every two months since the intercontinental caravan in 99. During these meetings, we spend 4/5 days together in a different place each time both to make friends, develop action or autonomy building projects, have in-depth theoritical discussions and funny games, exchange about our lives and communities and publishing a bi-monthly bulletin. Sans-titre meetings have from 10 to 50 people depending on issues, places, times and individuals. It has no memberships or reprenstatives but hallmarks (you'll find a translation of these hallmarks a the end of this text). Through Sans-titre, some people have been linked with the PGA network and close to its hallmarks since its beginning.

Through Sans-titre some people have been involved with various projects such as global days of action, anticapitalist caravan, no border camp in Strasbourg, permanent caravan, intersquat support initiatives and various kind of more locally orientated actions, projects and friendships.

Here are some of the concerns that "we" (this group of people but not all the Sans-titre) want to raise if we become the convenor of the next PGAe conference.

  1. To continue with the dynamic in the Eastern Europe (included Balkan) started with the Belgrade conference
    If some people or group/s in Eastern European countries propose to take the convenorship, then we think it is a priority to have the next conference there and we are ready to help in such a case.
    Nevertheless, since the internal conflicts and troubles we have seen during the Belgrade conference and its preparation, we want to have a possibility to analyse and question the local situation without having everything we could say being rejected (both by ourselves and other people) as "western-centered" imperialism. We're aware that we partly reflect a "western-centered radical ghetto" approach but we also want to understand and interact with local contexts and groups in order to contribute to the resolution of these types of problems common to all groups (hierarchical structure, "politician" behavior, lack of resources, etc.) and that go beyond local specific contexts.
    Even if there are no candidates from the Eastern Europe and the Balkans if our proposal is accepted, it is still crucial to continue working specifically with organisations there on the development of this dynamic and we will try to develop contacts and collaboration during the conference preparation.

  2. To clarify the distinction between this potential convenor and "Sans Titre" We're just a group of people from various parts of the European french-speaking area and involved with various collectives linked with the sans-titre network. We have a kind of feeling (and hope) that we are motivated enough and in sufficient numbers to be the next convenors. We know each other, have some common practices and some experience of working with each other. If our convenorship proposal is accepted we will form a specific group with its own name for the organization of the conference and will work both independently and in interaction with the network "Sans Titre".

    This clearly means that some people involved with the sans-titre network don't want to feel/be involved with this conference and that this conference will be a specific autonomous project of some people linked with sans-titre. We don't want to force people to feel responsible for a project decided by others.

    We also want to remind ourselves and others that PGA and "Sans Titre" share the same anti-authoritarian hallmarks, among which there is a principle that "these networks represent no one and that no one represents these networks". Additionaly and without necessarily looking for evil everywhere, we want to raise our concern about the way some individuals or groups of people sometimes use the name of networks such as PGA to enforce their power/career through politician behaviours that don't have much to do with grassroots politics.

  3. To promote the following ideas/forms of organising
    Here are a few ideas (and not at any point an exhaustive list) of some of the things we want to focus on or to worry about. Part of these reasons/motivations came from the process of experimentations and discussions, which took place within "Sans titre" around our involvment with pga and the organisation of big action camps/meetings such as the no border camp in Strasbourg. We're aware that these few focus that we present here are partly already present within in the pga process (and were also some focuses of the last pga conference for example). We just want to emphasize that we are particularly motivated to develop debates and practices going into the following directions. It's also for us only the beginning in debating what we would like to fill this next conference with. These orientations don't exclude to improve and do as well the other usual stuffs such as action coordination, workshops on political and practical issues, work on pga process, blahblah....

    We want to consider the organisational dimension of the meetings and of the daily life logistic during the conference, as important political issues and part of the content. These can't be taken as superficial questions of "logistic", which would have to be organised as efficiently as possible in order to let activists discuss "content".

    • we want to focus on some horizontal and collective conceptualisation and organization of collective tasks needed during the conference (from facilitation and formalisation of the meetings to conflict resolutions, translation or cooking), to emphasize autonomous building and participative structures (through self-construction of facilities when possible/ self-organisation of meals...), to have various skill-sharings and to avoid specialisation of tasks when it reinforces power structures or when it is related to the necessary daily lives tasks such as cleaning or cooking.

    • we want to take care of how the buildings that would be necessary for the conference to happen could also stay on a longer term and be usefull to local people and projects. We want to develop connections with the local situation around the conference: meeting with local people to understand their issues and contexts, contribute to local projects and struggles, etc.

    • we want to develop direct democracy structures and experimentations during the conference and into the network and to find ways to subvertize power relations and informal hierarchies.

    • we're thinking of some ways of decentralising the conference, but the possibility to make it workable and interesting is still very much into debate.

    • we would like to have some political and strategical debates about present tendencies in the network to flirt with Social Forums and, more generally, with institutionnal party/lobby politics type of organisations .

  4. Additional information: "Sans-titre" network hallmarks
    1. Sans Titre is a network composed of individuals and local groups, which transfers information, shares projects and actions on a local, regional and worldwide basis.

    2. We are in favour of self-government and try to regain control over our lives, means and places of existence. We do our best to put our ideas into practice and feel rather fulfilled with both our ways of life and our political struggles, whichare resolutely united: planting and collecting vegetables; reading newspapers, making one; learning how to make jam; making love; laughing between friends; supporting struggles and developing solidarity close to us as well as far from us; type down the summary of a sans-titre meeting which lasted for ages; opposing commercial trade?

    3. We are facing a set of domination and discrimination systems. States and capitalism are nowadays indissociably linked and working hand and glove. Both, for instance, are deeply rooted in patriarchy and male domination. We reject them at large and try to understand them by tearing their mechanisms apart and spotting their participants.

    4. Within western societies, both historically and at present, sciences and research are profit-driven. Irrational faith in progress and scientist ideology, which drinving industrial societies, lead us all to jeopardize our lives, our organism and our means of existence through hazardous experimentation. They make us more and more dependent on industry and consumption goods. As needs induced by our consumption society become more complex and diverse, industrial societies prove to be less and less compatible with local alternatives based on a respect for humanity and environment. This derives from the basic fact that these societies imply total control over our own tools and resources.

    5. Lobbying, representation, as well as any form of association with the State or its institutions turn out to lead to a dead-end. They can only strengthen the latters and neutralize any real desires for change. We are in favour of active desertion and autonomization, disobedience and effective action. We intend by these means to inform as well as to induce economical and political confrontational situations. We are liable to choose direct means of pressure or opposition towards ruling powers.

    6. Sans-titre admits no hierachy. We make decisions collectively through debates, trying to bring them to consensus. A decision can only be individual and implies only individual responsibility. Local groups and individuals keep their autonomy. Sans-titre does not represent anybody and no one might represent Sans-Titre.

    7. Sans Titre is fighting. Sans Titre is thinking and proposing. Sans Titre does not take itself seriously. Sans Titre is autonomous. Sans Titre creates its own media. Sans Titre does not exist, and everything's fine till now. Oï.

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2-2- Reformulations, comments and decision during the meeting about above (PROPOSAL)

A- Some questions and limits adding to the proposal above

Organising such conferences can also turn into a risky process for collectives: it means a lot of time and energy during a long period and consequently less times to work on local issues and other kinds of actions and projects. It can both bring energy to collectives and weaken them depending on how they feel isolated or supported in the process of preparation. That's why it seems really necessary to us that we maintain a process of cooperation and of international preparation of such conference (and also because it is more interesting like that and make the interactive spirit of the network exist outside conferences...). It needed to be the case with the belgrade preparation process as local people were asking for it and had a lack of infrastructures and experience, but we want it to be the case for us as well, whatever people could presume of our supposed experience or infrastructures...

We know that if we want to help the involvment of east european groups in the process we have to work on it well in advance and to be able to invite people and pay for travel costs. Indeed, there are a few things that we feel confident in doing, but for example big foundraising is something that is not really usual for us and that we're quite bad at it (except for small scale benefit events that mostly hardly support our usual local projects...). So if some collectives and people who have more experience in this could either teach us/help us with that, it would be great.

B- Discussion about the proposal

After the exposition of the above proposal there were some comments, precisions and a debate on some of the issues.

The prospective convernors want to focus on organising in a way of direct democracy and open structures during the conference and therefore break down power structures within the conference:

  • They would like the organisation to involve all participants at the conference to be part of daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, security and secretarial tasks etc. These tasks would be performed as a political act and a practice in horizontal and collective structures. They would like to raise the issue of specialisation: how it can be useful but at the same time problematic. The role of experts can be positive but everybody should also be involved in daily tasks to avoid the formation of power structures and hierarchies within conferences and devolop towards a participatory approach to break down power structures. These was partly tried in Belgrade and we should work more in this direction.

  • They also would like to put in debate (wich doesn't mean to oppose but to discuss) the presence in pga conferences of individuals linked up with institutional organisations and structures like political organisations and parties and how to deal with them.

Comments: Someone raised the point if the participatory principle would be just the convenors' organising principle or if workshops would actually be introduced about skill-sharing and different approaches about breaking structure. The answer was that this second is the case based on a way of organising that can work in practice and not only as a theoretical wish.

However, we should not forget that this is not only an abstract ideology but the practice of many existing groups inside the pga network. Someone, however, emphasised that despite this has been talked about for years somehow it is not always in people's consciousness and there is a problem about hidden hierarchies and developing specialisation. So the situation arise where people doing specialised tasks (like computer people) are not expected to be in non specialised areas (like cleaning toilets). So everybody should on one hand encouraged to do the non-specialised tasks while on the same time everybody should be given confidence to be part of specialised activities.

One asked if there are any specific groups within the 'Sans Titre' network that want to be convenors. The answer was that this is not yet the case but they would be found if there was a request to host the next pga europe conference. There are in fact alreadz 10/15 people within the network "sans titre" that are committed to do it and hopefully more people will join if they will be convenors as others have express the willingness to support the specific parts of the organisation but without taking the global responsibility for it. It might be possible for them to involve at least 50 people. It has not been decided yet where the conference would be held and if it will be only in one place or in different ones.

C- Decision about the new Convenors

The day after it presentation, Marcelle printed another draft of the proposal from some people involved in the Sans Titre network who were offering to be the next convenors and wanted to know what the meeting thought. They also feel as really important that any groups from Eastern Europe who would want to organise the next conference are supported and they would be willing to step aside and to help out if needed. They would like to organise the first preparation meeting.

We went around the table and gave our views. Nico put forward his reservations on the amount of work involved and the fact that organizing the conference can both bring dynamic but also take their network and local dynamics out of their current actions and projects. They (Sans Titre) also said that they would need help with fundraising . Nico & Marcelle will discuss the reservations further and amend the proposal to incorporate them.

We agreed with the proposal but there is only one proposal so maybe that's why everybody agrees. It can be positive to confront it as well. Marcelle asked if people at the meeting could give their point of view about a good time for a first international preparation meeting,  for Sans Titre to begin organising it. Suggestion that its good enough for now to say it should be around autumn 2005 (with the next conference planne daround summer 2006)  and then clarify it later on.

Barbara offered the venue of the winter meeting in  Linz as a possible place for organising other pga meetings  because it can offer a very good structure for this sort of thing.

Zhenya suggested the ukraine to organize one preparation meeting in the east, although there may be problems with visas??? we said it should be thought about.

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3- Feedback & projects

A- Feedback WSF, Belgrade reflection

26-31st of january porto allegre - pga meeting happened there; no proper call before the meeting of pga - so people have not been that aware of it.

focus of the meeting: trying to get links with different part of the world (pga asia, pga north america, pga europe...)

PGA Asia : before the conference they sent the information that the next global conferencewill be in september. important was, to talk to PGA Asia about the global conference. There was one guy from PGA Asia but he got lost actually (he was from Nepal) - guy from indymedia sao paolo -

Latin America: in latin america there is a big interest of a PGA network (up to geneva there was a network, but it went down) - there were problems in this network before; also people from nort-america (before wsf meeting in ny where there is a official infopoint now) - also montreal people want to make an infopoint. also philadelphia wants to make an infopoint, ca is quiet, North Carolina but they are not really interested.

Africa : woman from south africa - she couldn't make it to the meeting. email contact is here. - Major problem: if we want to be a global network how we link between various  areas of the world ? fe. in africa the grassroot movements are organised differently (also areas like middle east...) - hard in some parts of the world to find groups who are not working together with governments... Problem how to find out whats happening...finding groups and contacts...

PGA meeting in WSF : generally globally it was quite good covered - people from mexico, brazil, argentina, peru, united states, europe, ---> all together 30-40 people. problem: meeting started late; esp. in the evening a lot of things started happening there...; (whole wsf: 150.000 people!) reports started (there are minutes!) - first there were reports from the different parts (PGA Europe...); venezuela fe. they had a very successful action in october (columbus day). in latin-america not so much happened and tehy want to start the network again but different than before (smaller, autonomus organisations and not so much the big ones).

United States/Canada: they want to pick it up again (all the new infopoints)

Europe: feedback about the belgrade conference, the estafette, the caravan, about the main events (global days of actions which are coming up); also we talked about the global conference (how we deal with it - not much info from asia) - what are the objectives of PGA? How we deal with upcoming problems?

It was hard to finish the meeting (everybody wanted to say something) - but conditions were not too good. we postponed the discussion - one of the lists shall be used for discussing how better cooperation /communication can be guaranteed; the global action list shall get a debate structure (also for reestablishing the communication with pga asia) -->

Upcoming global days of action: 6th of july (against G8) - dissent put it forward as a proposal - should be linked up to other mobilisations in 2005 (fe. WTO Hong Kong, IMF in Washington....); FTAA meeting in november in argentina; idea about two workshops (Dissent and G8) - out of that: there are people mobilising against FTAA - lets link up together! (+ all the others) people from Washington (against WB and IMF); second workshop was more theoretical: more like having discussions; (how we deal with global day of actions, how to include more people from different parts of the world, how to make a global network) - other group on more practical issues: how to make sure that ppl know what is going on..... call to action: more a global way of cooperation (text is vorhanden); this is something practical - linking up the different struggles!

Caracol Intergalacitca: its the idea of having anti-authorotarian camps - first inside and now with new projects outside WSF or ESF meetings.  so besides global day of action having those camps.

global resistance network : but there are people working on it (in Tuebingen there are people working on it); creating of alternative open spaces. Next year: decentralised camp structure (fe. one camp in Caracass is happening) - to take things away from porto allegre. (at the same date); not yet clarified where the other camps will happen.

B- About the next global conference in Nepal

an other report will be posted to the pga-process mailinglist after collecting additional informations.

C- Dissent feedback

Outline given of the network's history & aims and its focus currently on the G8 counter summit in Gleneagles this coming july 6th. Some ppl in Dissent feel strongly linked with PGA and some ppl would prefer to keep Dissent seperate to PGA. Meetings will now be held monthly instead of bi-monthly and the ideal scenario will be to have meetings alternating between england & scotland. There is a perception of uk ppl having an overpowering position. Trapeze Roadshow travelling round country raising awareness of the G8 and Dissent. meeting held recently in London at beyond esf and the International side started off mainly then with lot of interest generated. International networking group focussing on the meeting coming up in Tubingen in 2 weeks time. The organising group here is a pga infopoint with a pga meeting on one of the days there. Dissent now dividing into regional meetings with a s.e. regional group and regional groups in scotland, etc., Global call to action went out from Caracol at the recent meeting in Port Alegre in january. Serious concerns raised about pga meetings being held in the same convergence centre in scotland. Different types of actions being planned. No convergence centre yet, still looking. Some debate if convergence centre a good idea as it makes you vulnerable. And where would it be plus issue of transport on how to bring ppl from one place to another. How to get the land and where, as not sure how big the red zone will be. Ppl are being given special id's who live within the area. Another problem is division within social movements with festival organised by bob geldof cooperating with the authorities. If ppl want more info please go the this link:

D- Caravan Samba climatica

Nico has contacted olivier and he said he has no clue who is doing what about this. Caravan is trying to reestablish itself and when people talked about it at Belgrade he said there should be a meeting late spring (May) to organise it. Suggestion to do the meeting in Dijon. Tanneries might be a good space offer as it is pretty easy to acccess from different parts in europe. But the meeting itself has to be organized by people involved with caravan samba climatica.

The contact for the caravan list is

Also check out link

Val will chase up ppl in london ror.

Nico will send the report of the organisation of the global conference from belgrade to the pga process list??

E- Estafette

Have a chain reaction of action (refl-action) to pass on from group to group from country to country. This could be something outside global day of action that we can do within the network. First thing choose an issue ie taking back/reappropriation of a field or a house or a street etc., and the idea is like one first group will do an action and will pass the action to another group who can do a different action on the same issue.

Every local group choose their own action within the issue and they find the next group to carry on and they could have a face to face meeting with the next group maybe to discuss the issue/actions etc, if they wanted to.

Some first people from various parts in europe said they would start the process and rediscussed it during autonmous spaces at the esf in england, but it's still not sure who's going to start it ans when. A list and wikipage has been created. A complet report from the Belgrade spokes council and updates will be sent on the process list. We're waiting fom news of people involved with it.

F- Funding

Some problems within PGA about funding in general. We decided as there wasn't much time, we can raise the question about funding within pga, but cannot deal with it and it will be passed forward to the next prep meeting.

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dd. 22-03-2004