European PGA
(People's Global Action)

Call PGA conf.
3rd Europ. PGA conf.
Workshop Questionaire

Notes of 3-6 Oct '03
Notes of 10-12 Jan '04
Notes of 16-18 Apr '04

Infopoint newsletter

Conf. Location
Visa info
Usefull info Belgrade
Going to the conference
Locations in Jajinci
Other conference loc.

IRC Chat
IRC Chat (direct)
PGA Mailinglists
collab. board

General Info
PGA Hallmarks
Main Menu


Minutes of the Pga Preparatory Meeting – January 10-12, 2004


OK…the document is pretty long, but please take time to read it carefully since it pretty much sums up what we did so far and provides an action plan for the next month at local level, as well as concrete organisational measures that will have to be carried out if we are to keep on schedule.


© stands for consensus :--)


  1. Pga Preparatory Meeting – January 10-12, 2004
  2. Time line for local activities from January 19 – February 5
  3. Appendix – material that was sent to the pga-process list in the run-up to the pga preparatory meeting

I. PGA Preparatory Meeting – January 10–12, 2004

List of participants

  • Stefan (SUS – DSM, Belgrade)
  • Frano (ZMAG, Zagreb)
  • Gregg (Rhythm of Resistance, London)
  • Milos (BLOK – DSM, Indymedia Belgrade)
  • Milan (SPK – DSM, Belgrade)
  • Maja (SPK - DSM, Belgrade)
  • Krech (Glokal, Hanau)
  • Marion (Glokal, Hanau)
  • Andrej (BLOK – DSM, Belgrade)
  • Milan the Biker, Belgrade
  • Zabac (SUS – DSM, Belgrade)
  • Beti (BLOK, Za drugaciji svet, Belgrade)
  • Tozza (BLOK – DSM, Belgrade)
  • Katica (SUS - DSM, Belgrade)
  • Ivana (PK -DSM, Belgrade)
  • Milos Chvorke (PK - DSM, Belgrade)

PGA meeting agenda

1. DSM introductory note

  • presenting DSM to newcomers
  • short note on activities since last PGA preparatory meeting

2. Report on progress in preparations for PGA Conference 2004

  • Report by local group from Resnik – infrastructure and location, local authorities
  • Report by Content Group – proposals sent by Olivier and remarks, further discussion
  • Report by Contact Group – Difussion of PGA call, contacts with grassroots collectives from Western and especially Eastern Europe, PGA and the European Social Forum (what the hell happened!!! and how to avoid this kind of fiasco in the future), PGA and the WSF in Mumbai, PGA and the Counter-WEF manifestation in Warszaw
  • Report by the Group for Food – Prices, collectives to take part in organising preparation and distribution of food, proposal for internaction with local community
  • Report by Web Group – progress with PGA web site and other web content

3. Integrating agenda proposals from participants of the preparatory meeting and contributors via e-mail (during agenda setting) and discussing these points

4. Discussing course of further action for preparations

  • what is left to be done – infrastructure, information, financing, content
  • distributing more concrete assignments to individuals/groups/collectives

5. Controversies

  • How to fight sexism inside of the PGA network – two proposals: to include this issue into the agenda of the general meeting (1) or to organise separate debates on this subject (to be decided during the meeting) (2)
  • Local reality of the DSM convership – Agitation against PGA and DSM by local anarchosyindicalist, bolschevik and trotskyst sects
  • Possible problems with right-wing forces – there is a strong possibility that a right-wing government will be formed after the parliametary elections in December 2003, since liberal and radical right-wing political parties have won a large number of mandates


1. DSM introductory note

A short recapitulation of DSM activities since the last PGA Preparatory meeting in …

2. Report on progress in preparations for PGA Conference 2004

Local group from Resnik (infrastructure)

  • Locations for PGA Conference events – The local group from Resnik (Belgrade district where the conference should take place) had submitted a project proposal that explains what kind of event the convenor wants to organise and requests specific locations for the purpose of accomodation and activities during the conference.
  • The local authorities have sent back the project with technical remarks and aksed us to recompose the document to meet formal requirements. We are in the process doing this and the project will be re-submitted sometime during next week (January 19 – January 24, 2004).
  • The settlement (Resnik) has a population of 300,000, most of which are unemployed workers, hard-hit by the measures imposed by the neoliberal-oriented government that has been in office up until the parliamentary elections that took place in December 2003.
  • Resnik is located 20 km from the centre of Belgrade and has solid connections with the capital city’s centre in terms of public transport.
  • The settlement also has a large refugee camp, as well as Albanian and Roma communities. The local group from Resnik has initiated contacts with the refugees, the minority communities as well local activist groups that are willing to help out with organising the conference. The ethnic communities are more or less normally integrated into society and there is no racially inspired tension within the population.
  • Resnik is also free of right-wing groups that are custom to working class districts in Belgrade.

More on further course of action in section 4…

Content group

The content group presented the summary of main thematic areas that was sent to the pga-process list by Olivier, with several remarks related to terminology. Namely, the people at the preparatory meeting agreed to use the term “post-Yugoslavia” instead of “the Balkans” (as stated in Olivier’s document) for the venue of the conference, because of the often derogatory implications of the latter term. Also, it was agreed that post-Yugoslavia was a good name to symbolise one of the main goals of the conference in the local/regional context, keeping in view that the common living space constituted by the former Yugoslav republics was ravaged and destroyed by wars that were ignited and lead by regional and international power structures and strategies which have, essentially, not changed much (if at all in some cases) ©. The group will have to step up with activities…
To see Olivier’s summary click here

More on further course of action in section 4…

Contact group

  • The contact group has mainly worked on distributing the PGA Conference call through the pga-process list and beyond. However, the general observation is that the group needs to have a more aggressive approach in spreading information and summoning activist to assist in organising the conference. Proposals were made to broaden contacts through mailing lists, the pga site, promotions at international events and personal contacts.
  • The first concrete proposal is to promote the conference at the NoEuro Conference in Munich (January 28-29, 2004) and maybe do a workshop.
  • Co-operation with the PGA Web group is essential.
  • There was also a remark on the small number of participants at the PGA preparatory meeting. The contact group urged (and everyone agreed) that a lot more people (and collectives) will have to be present at the next preparatory meeting scheduled fro April 2004.
  • Contacts and correspondence with groups that are or want to be involved in organisng the PGA conference should be transparent and made known through the pga-process list in order to avoid confusion and or creating more than one convenor network at local level ©

More on further course of action in section 4…

Group for Food

  • The SPK collective, who are the main local co-ordinator for food have sent the current list of prices.

More on further course of action in section 4…

Web Group

Updated people present at the meeting on the content of the web site. Here is a list of things that have been done and that need to be done from Serge (Web Group), who summed it all up quite nicely:

  • We have made the lay-out of the pgaconference.org page including the call and there is space for everything else.
  • The webpage is designed to work on old browsers. Not everybody has the money to buy a recent computer.
  • We have integrated the mailinglists, IRC link etc. into the new page.
  • We have an experimental colaberation board (WIKI system) for preparatorial use.
  • PGAconference.org webpage currently contains:
    • A new welcome index page.
    • The PGA conference call for the conference in July. [ Last minor corrections will be done in next update]
    • preparatorial Notes of the last meeting in Belgrade 3-6 October 2003
    • Infopoint newsletter (nov 2003).
    • Integration of the IRC chat channel.
    • Integration of the PGA Mailinglists
    • A link to the WIKI collaberation board
    • Links and a list of all participants of the preparation of the next conference in Belgrade with links to there pages.
    • PGA Hallmarks in 6 Languages English, Serbo-Croat, Russian,
      French, German and Spanish.
    • Contact addresses
  • Things to be made
    • Every page should be translated into the 6 languages. (We need translators.)
    • New stuff will be published.
    • WIKI system should be easier to be found. I'll put WIKI into the main pgaconference.org page at next update.
    • The corrected call published on the pga-europe-process will be updated at next update.
    • Ask the agp.org site maintainers to add www.pgaconference.org link at the www.agp.org
  • Things needed to be done and we need help
    • Translations of text from English into Serbo-Croat, Russian, French, German, Spannish. - I, serge@eurodusnie.nl, want also some e-mails so I can ask too when things needs to be translated like the menu's of the webpage.
  • Things to be decided
    • What is the status and how to use the collaberationboard (WIKI system) as assistant for prepare the conference.
    • Who wants to translate the webpage content into the 5 other languages.

3. Integrating agenda proposals from participants of the preparatory meeting and contributors via e-mail (during agenda setting) and discussing these points

There were no additional agenda proposals to the draft agenda proposal presented by the BLOK collective (DSM participant). Good work BLOK :--) (Comment by Milos....from BLOK :--)

4. Discussing further course of action in the preparations


  1. Get adequate space to serve as an office during preparations and the conference itself
  2. Submit project to local authorities in Resnik and secure locations for accommodation and events
    • Space around lake – cultural events in the evening
    • School
    • Two locations for lectures and other events – one location is near the Roma community, the other is in a commercial centre
    • More info on timeline in section II


  • The content group has pledged to finish the proposals for the main themes (drafted by Olivier) by February 15, 2004 and send it to the PGA-process list for revision. During this time, the content group shoud also start categorising all applications for events and send them to the pga process list so that they can be uploaded on the pga web-site.
  • Frano from ... joined the content group
    Create application form for particpants and their event proposals in co-operation with contact group and web group
    More info on timeline in section II


  • The Finance group has to get their act together. There are several members that are not co-ordinating well yet (especially between local and international level).
  • A local PGA bank account in Belgrade will be openned on January 19, 2004
  • The PGA infopoint in UK has gathered 1,000 quid (=pounds) for the purpose of organising the confernce. After the Bank account is openned, the convenor will contact Gregg to send the cash, which will be used to provide the PGA office (info point) in Resnik for preparations and during the conference (aprox. 6 months). The rest will be used for other costs during preparations, with emphasis on the squat/social centre in central Belgrade as the second priority (secondary info point/accomodation site)
  • The drafting of a three-stage financial plan.
    • The first stage will be complete on Fenruary 15, 2004 by which time the convenor will submit an approximate figure for infrastructural requirements. ©
    • The second stage will include expenses for tools needed for events and workshops and travelling costs for participants who can't afford to pay them (deadline to be determined), which means that feedback is necessary starting yesterday! ©
    • The third stage will remain open until the end of the conference and in the aftermath to sum up the final balance and straighten out any outstanding debts.
  • Immediate requirements: feedback on infrastructural requirements, number of participants (aprox.), workshops, travelling expenses... ©
  • Proposal to include people who dealt with finances at the Leiden conference to draw on their experience make things easier. ©
  • Enlarge and imporve efficiency of finance group – call to people to help out ©
  • The group will start fundraising at international level as of now. ©

More info on timeline in section II

Information flow


From Serge (Web Group)

  • Translations of text from English into Serbo-Croat, Russian, French, German, Spannish. Contact: serge@eurodusnie.nl
  • E-mails of people so I can ask too when things needs to be translated like the menu's of the webpage.
  • What is the status and how to use the collaberation board (WIKI system) as assistant for prepare the conference.
    • Co-ordinate with content group to upload content related material (main themes, events, timetable. Etc.)
    • Co-ordinate with finance group for fundraising campaign.
    • Co-ordinate with contact group for updating contact database
    • Co-ordination with all other groups through pga-process list
    • Create an on-line application form and see how the applications can be managed - in co-operation with content group and contact group
    • Develop page dedicated to events (workshops) in co-operation with content group
    • Create separate page for information regarding infrastructure after being provided with material (map of Belgrade and Resnik, info on conference location, places to eat, etc.) – in co-operation with content group and contact group
    • Co-operate with contact group on visibility, mobilisation


  • A proposal by Damjan (SUS-DSM) that was accepted at the latest DSM meeting
  • We have an idea to start a montly regional newsletter on serbo-croat-bosnian language to inform people in the post-yugoslavia about the PGA conference and to try to engage them more in conference preparation (to find volunters, support, etc.)
  • The newsletter could also be used to inform people of what peoples` global action network realy is, because we have anti-PGA propaganda here from some anarcho-sindicalist and trotskist groups.
  • The newsletter will contain 20-25 pages A5 format and approximately 1000 copies per month (and also e-format).
  • Proposal of content:
    • news on PGA network, 4 pages
    • regional news, 4 pages
    • conference preparation info, 2 pages
    • social-economic issues (emigrants, refugees, minorities, workers, lay off
    • workers, unemployed, class conflict, collectivisation...), 3 pages
    • student issues (free education!), 1 page
    • gender and LGTB issues (women against all authorities), 2 pages
    • anti-war and total conscientious objection issues, 1 page
    • radical ecology, 2 pages
    • political engaged music, 1 page
    • direct democracy theory, 1 page
    • miscellaneous (comics etc.), 1 page
  • Bulletin will cost 200 euros per month and there will be 5 editions (March, April, May, June, July), total = >1000 euros.
    I know it is not small amount of money, but i hope there is enough time for finding funds.

DSM has supported the idea and formed the initial editorial and support staff for the newsletter © (DSM)
The initial budget evaluation for the newsletter incorporates the regular prices for printing, but we will most probably be able to decrease the amount of money we need.


  • Continue monitoring prices of food products in Belgrade and Resnik
  • Mobilise more people to help out with preparation of food
  • Once getting approximate information on the number of participants, create plan for preparing food during conference (menu); discuss whether food prepared at PGA should be free or sold for symbolic sum to help cover costs


  • Form group for security and communication with authorities during the conference
  • The group should include lifeguards, since participant might want to have a splash in the lake (which is clean…believe it or not…)
  • Local activists from Resnik have volunteered to join the security group

II. Report from latest DSM meeting

timeline for local action

other issues

  • Assigned specific tasks in the timeline to individuals/collectives!!
  • New collective about to join DSM coalition: The name is Pro et Contra. They were founded six months ago and their primary interest for now is organising street and puppet theatres. One member of the collective is currently translating Food not Bombs into Serbo-Cro-Bosnian and might work as a transaltor during the conference

III. Appendix

(Olivier’s proposal) PGA all-european conference in the Balkans (July 2004) – some proposed themes

The second preparatory meeting for the next european PGA conference decided that, as in the previous conferences, groups would be free to propose workshops. However, it also seemed important to identify some central themes, for which the convenors and preparation group would encourage a collective process of preparation before the conference. A first, provisional list was proposed and a working group volonteered to try and organise them into a provisional proposition of central themes. Here is one possible version. (Actually I tried to send this to the other people of the working group two months ago, but got no answer. I am therefor sending it as a personal contribution towards the next meeting and in response to infoladen's request for "having the program in a bit more structured way".)

I have tried to spell out a little what these proposed titles would imply so as to try and organise them, but I may have put something else into them than what the people who proposed them actually meant. In that case, they must correct ! Anyhow here it is:
The subjects proposed fall into two categories. About half concern the critique of the capitalist agenda, the others were more concerned with our strategy and practice to oppose their agenda and impose ours.

Of course, simply criticising their agenda without constantly referring to our methods of struggle against it could make for rather abstract and disempowering discourses of denunciation, and talking of our practice will always bring us to talk of the concrete context – of what we are resisting. So we propose to try and structure the themes by starting from “their” agenda, while reminding ourselves to each time ask ourselves the “ transversal ” questions about our practice : how do we (or could we) resist their attacks (and propose alternatives)? That said, it will probably also be interesting to organise some discussions specifically on our practices and projects.

Whatever people think of this way of organising these themes, I hope that this introduction to them can start a discussion on their content on this list. It is ESSENTIAL that the debate start now, not the morning of the first day of the meeting !
So this is how I have tried to organise the subjects (in bold letters) proposed at the reunion. The general framework could be :
What’s next on their agenda ? And on ours ?

For a conference hosted in Eastern Europe, it seemed logical to start with a major question that concerns us all, East and West:

I. European enlargement and its consequences. Some of them are already indicated by the related questions below, but there are probably other important ones that should be filled in, beginning maybe with making some geographical distinctions: what will enlargement mean for parts of eastern Europe that are being immediately included in the EU ? For those that remain outside? For the west?

Transversal questions on our practice : Well, the simple fact that we are doing the European PGA conference in Serbia and on this theme, is no doubt a consequence of enlargement on our practice! The old wall is definitely coming down. (Note that up until now Eastern Europe, which has its own PGA convenors and process, has been largely separate. Apropos, the East European convenors, Rainbow Keepers, should logically be also part of this process. Have contacts been made with them about this?)

A closely related question is Avoiding the mistakes of the West, the difference being that “ european enlargement ” seems to admit that we are already all in the same boat. Does the East as such still have the choice of another road (at least in some particular aspects) ? Or will we all more probably make or break a european capitalist project together ?

Of course, being in Europe together doesn’t mean that capitalism will really offer similar conditions for all. On the contrary, The East as Third World expresses the fact that at least most of the East is clearly being pushed back into the necessary and complementary role of underdevelopment : a dependent zone of cheap labor, raw materials and lower social and ecological standards.

Transversal questions:

To avoid fatalism, we must avoid confusing their agenda with the social reality, where resistance awaits them. For instance, they may have decided to cut social services (say public transport) in the East even more than in the West. But that may be more difficult than expected in ex-socialist societies. That is why it seems important that all these themes of their agenda always be brought down to the very concrete and diverse experiences : how are people reacting – or not reacting – to privatisations or urban development or Bush’s neocolonial wars or immigration and xenophobia... in Croatia for instance, or Italy or Great Britain? How have we been trying to intervene in these realities ? With what success ?)
A wider Europe under decadent capitalism has aspects of particular importance for us.

Immigration, of course, with its strategy of division and increased pressure on certain categories of people. And also the more and more brutal forms of Social Control, from workfare blackmail to War, by way of street surveillance cameras, new ID cards and worldwide computer surveillance of activists.

Gender: Patriarchal oppression of course continues in the new context (and in subtler forms in our own movement !) It also takes on new, more violent forms by the increasing workloads on women, who have to replace in their “ free ” time lost social services ; the reinforcement of merchandised sexist stereotypes and the ongoing crime against humanity constituted by the massive sex-slave trade organised between east and west, just to mention the most obvious points.

II. Another (wider than Europe and more ecologically minded) way of posing the question that faces us all is : Criticism of Industrial Society.

We don’t want development any more than underdevelopment, because it is unjust (development depending on the existence of underdevelopment), but also because it is unsustainable, destroys communities, makes selfmanagement (decentralisation and local control) impossible, promotes merchandisation and individualistic consumption and in short makes people unhappy.

To sum up the “their agenda” part, people seem to want to think about the general social project (if one can call it that !) of an enlarged capitalist Europe or of industrial society generally. Specific workshops as different as Immigration or Sustainable Technologies would develop aspects of this general theme. “Transversal” questions on our practice

Every time we talk about some aspect of our big problem (capitalist society and where its heading), it would be pointless if we aren’t also thinking about how we are or could be opposing / transforming it. So here are some of the subjects that were proposed which maybe should be discussed separately too, but which should maybe be raised when we talk about the subjects listed above:

One question which I think should come up every time is Breaking out of the activist/alternative “ghetto”. Ghetto is maybe too negative a term. Since ’68 there has been a diverse alternative political and social space (from “revolutionary” parties to alternative culture, communities, squats, etc.) which has allowed radical opposition to survive and develop. In western Europe, anyhow, there was such a consensus around the consumerist, social-democratic paradise that we had to stick together and affirm our difference, just to survive.

But that also meant letting ourselves be isolated from mainstream society. We may distribute leaflets to “normal” people, but they don’t often aren’t really speak to someone who doesn’t share our mental points of departure. It is difficult and frustrating to try to understand and be understood by the mainstream, and we don’t often really try. In fact, we generally have quite elitist, vanguardist and even comtemptuous attitudes towards people from say the base of ATTAC, without speaking of the mass of “unenlightened” fellow citizens who still believe in jobs, votes or whatever! Maybe simply because we don’t know how to talk to them. And as long as we don’t try, we won’t learn how...
As a result, when our ideas do break through (feminism or ecology, for instance) they have often been co-opted into reformist modes. Without question, the anti-globalisation movement is the biggest, fastest breakthrough we have had yet. No doubt because there is greater dissatisfaction in capitalist society at any time since the 1930s. So are we going to learn how to talk to the people at large, or will we leave that to more “reasonable” people? Is it enough to show that we are revolutionary, radical, etc., or should we be convincing people that it is normal to be that way?

Maybe we don’t really need our ghetto anymore (and PGA has led to interesting meetings with european peasants, NGOs, etc., particularly during the Intercontinental Caravan). But now that there is a wide range of “anti-globalisation” groups and networks, there is also a danger that PGA Europe will accept to be isolated somewhere in a more fragmented, sectarian, movement as a sort of anarchist club. And not continue to be the more original, wider political space defined by the PGA hallmarks. (And how does all this work in eastern Europe? How do piercings and black fit into the post-socialist context?)

What’s next as an international movement ? Poses the general question of how, apart from talking, we can actually act together. This movement created itself of on certain practices. First of all, by responding to calls put through the PGA network for Global Days of decentralised Action. That kind of worldwide mobilisation quite unintentionally provoked massive central demos against the Summits. These practices have been incredibly effective at de-legitimizing neoliberal ideology and reviving the idea of anti-capitalism. At Seattle, and now Cancun, they even indirectly contributed to spoiling imperialist plans. How important is it to continue this practice (what evaluation of our presence at the G8 this year, for instance) or are we just repeating ourselves?

What’s next after summit hopping? is a way of asking if big demos are enough, or if we don’t need to find new practices for the movement. (Actually, we have also had other practices which should be evaluated too: seminars, caravans and recently “villages”.) From the start, in 1998, we have been conscious that we must find a way to link the “stratospheric”, ideological, battles of summits or global days of action with local, day to day resistances against the neoliberal offensive, with the alternatives we try to build. But its not easy! Actually, acting as an international network has particularly empowered smaller, more isolated groups (the MST never depended on us to be visible!), although it has kept them oriented towards the “stratospheric”, rather unrooted practice. And now, if we put the emphasis on the local, how do we continue to exist as a network that ACTS (rather than just sharing information, etc.) and thus inspires? In other words:

What’s global about the local? We need some new ideas here. For instance, what about if at the next global day of decentralised actions, we all did actions directed very specifically against local manifestations of globalisation (an action at a local hospital being privatised, for example)? Would that still take advantage of international action while making clear what globalisation means locally (and giving the occasion to do local organising, instead of yet another slightly abstract demo)?

More strategically, people have asked How do we imagine world change? (now that Lula is “in power” in Brazil...) Its not only the IMF, the US army or the corrupting influence of accumulated power and hierarchy, but the general pressure of political “realism” that seems to make it impossible for those who take power to make the changes that are so essential. So are there really alternative (or complementary) ways of imagining change: self-management, autonomy, commons and communities, more “horizontal” practices to use every day (see Gender...), “changing the world without taking power?” Great! But what does this, could this, really mean in our real life and activism?

To sum up these themes on our practice, one could say that people want to evaluate the present practices of the network, in particular the big demos and see how we could act at a more local and concrete level, but without losing the dynamism of an international movement. And more generally, how can one imagine radical change?

Excel file with Timeline.





Local Contacts



Bank Account - SPK

Content group co-ordinates thru pga-process list to work on proposal of main topics (initial framework) for the content of the conference (Content Group)

Informal contact with some members of the local community (trade unions from local factories, landowners, etc.) to try to arrange for provision of space and other requirements in infrastructure (SUS-PK)


Project re-submitted to local authorities (SUS - SPK)

1000 pounds from Lark? for PGA infopoint and other requirements for infrastructure (PGA)




Start looking for location to rent for PGA infopoint (SUS)

Send definite proposal to pga-process list

Lobbying for more funds - to be decied whether to take more funds before sending financial assessment (Finace group + Web group + Contact group)











Find and rent the space for PGA infopoint with money received from Lark (Grupa dobre volje - Good Will Group)

Upon receiving a positive answer from local authorities, start negotiating and confirming with management of locations for conference (school, two additional spaces in Resnik, etc.) (SUS?)




Approximate deadline for receiving authorisation from local authority to stage conference and use desired locations (DSM)


Upon receiving authorisation from local authority (might be modified compared to original request), draft first stage of financial assessment for conference (cost of infrastructure) (Finance Group)










  • If everything goes according to plan, a new timeline will be drafted after we have sent the financial assessment (first stage) and the main topics proposal to the pga-process list
  • International organisers are strongly encouraged to join is in creating the next time line with additional categories
  • Groups with assignments will send progress reports at least 2 days after each milestone event (Eg. Infrastrucure..January 22, January 25, February 4, February 7)
  • A final report for the timeline will be sent by February 20th, if everything goes according to schedule

Page is generated at Mon, 19-Jul-2004 13:47