Remarkably good meeting in Athens in May 2006.
May 5 2006 – Returning from the ESF 4 at Athens. Pictures linked here if you want to see them or have copies.
Just wrote the following email round to the London SF list:
I am sure there will be many postings to this list (and the web site ) arising from Athens ESF.
I am just on the way home as I write – and most of the others (of our 12-person crew) are spending this morning, sunday, in the final assembly which will be collecting together and ‘deciding’ on next steps and courses of action. They will have the final outcomes to tell about.
It was a stirring and useful event with many thousands of people and ended with a huge demo against the Iraq war with, it is said, over 100,000 people – our Greek friends judged it one of the biggest ever in Greece, and the first time there had been a major international gathering of the left in the country (apart from the old party rallies which used to have fraternal delegations…). It was very good. I had my first taste of tear gas but it was judged to pass off very peacefully by the normal standards of Greek police behaviour.
Dimitra and Haris had made superb preparations and the “urban space’ they had designed, built and equipped was ideal as a base and meeting point for everyone…… and would have been used even more than it was if there had not been a very strong wind making outdoor meetings a bit cold. They were fantastic – though we thought a bit exhausted by the time the event took place and not able to partiicpate fully or at all in the discussions. Personally I hope we can see them, rested and active. at Inura in June/July and/or in London in October (see below)
Most of us spent most of our time in meetings on housing and urban questions, out of which a document was agreed and that includes at least a decision of many of the mainly-housing networks to have a working meeting in London on the weekend prior to World Habitat Day (monday october 2). We want to discuss back in London about LSF action within, alongside and around that.
I have got rough text notes of one seminar in which we took part – on the Role of cities in alternative Europe – and will post them on the web site as soon as I have done a bit of an edit. I trust everyone else will do likewise….. (I also have a sound file of the same meeting in a mix of english, french, russian…. which I’ll put up when I have shrunk it and made an MP3 from it.)