Preparatory PGA meeting on the 1st/2nd July '06 at Frayssinouss
- 1-1/ Who will be there and when ?
- 1-2/ Definition of spaces
- 1-3/ Wish list/material needs
- 2-1/ what do we want to achieve and why ?
- 2-2/ Recap of content to be discussed and the people who will enable this
- 2-3/ tchi-taï-do and the writing of the invitation to frayssinouss
(Sunday afternoon discussion)
(lipjo will send the files to Ricola who will put them on the site)
1-1/ Who will be there and when ?
1st August : num, dynamo, latumeur, maybe émile, lipjo, tine, médéo and louna. Perhaps armin and vanessa and elliott. 2-3 August kamo, maybe anne-sy and mateo. 10 August : delfino and marcelle (who wants to go to Freiburg and then to the anti-G8 camp). Bertrand arrives beginning August. Jocelyne will go to Bellevue Mcpit will more likely get involved with Toulouse. CALL GREG (lipjo).
1-2/ Definition of spaces
Visit of the grounds, discussions with inhabitants of frayss
We did a big tour of the place on saturday evening. It's very big and very beautiful, but there isn't much flat and cleared space for camping. This tour of the grounds led us to work on logistical questions the next day and to ask the people of Frayssinouss about the possibilities of the space and also their customs and habits.
Regarding discussions with the inhabitants, we realised the importance of taking time to talk to everyone there. Alot of stuff happens there and it's quite difficult to have huge meetings with everybody. So it will take time to become known and also perhaps to let go of certain assumptions. However we are making progress and things are going well.
In August, start by making a plan, work out where people will sleep, where the different spaces will be, where we should make terraces, where we shouldn't go at all , which places are reserved for the people that live there ect. We believe straight off that we should not go into the main house at all so that will remain the private space for the usual residents of Frayssinouss. It's also important to control access to the workshop ( access to tools).
The land does need clearing either with machetes or goats. At the same time we can keep some of the small wood for use in the bread oven. Need to increase spaces with shade.
Super important: NO fires on the hill this summer because of the risk of forest fires !
We will need several places for camping, some of which should be quite isolated. This will enable affinity groups to camp together, to be away from noise, and to find shady spaces. It would be ideal at the same time, to also have some main camping areas to gather together the bulk of people.
Siestas ! this is important for children and in fact for everybody because it's going to be really hot. this means breakfast at 9 or 10 a.m., workshops/discussions, lunch at 1p.m. rest, siesta etc, workshops/discussions again until 4.30p.m., evening meal between 8/9p.m. However this can be rediscussed in August.
there are several yurts, domes, tipis and cabines which could be installed or made livable. But above all we need for each resident of frayss to tell us whether or not they will be there this summer, whether they will lend their living space or allow people to pitch their tents near to their particular living spaces etc. All of this will further defined at the beginning of August. We must also make a little map, signs etc to explain to new arrivals how the space will be organised for this summer meet. We must think of a space for people who don't have a tent. there are cabins but why not also "marabouts"(What the hell is that?).
Idea of non mixed spaces for women and children, etc.
Difficulty to make those kind of spaces especially when there are people who are totally against the idea. We need to know who doesn't want non mixed spaces so that there won't be too much tension. If we go ahead with that idea, we need to explain the need for these either women only or child only spaces.
For the kids only space there is a dome which can be constructed at la Valette by kids(Armin and Vanessa).
Marcelle wants to be part of the people who organised the non mixed spaces and we will rediscuss this in August. Num is also interested in this project. Meeting and discussion spaces.
build luxury toilets near the village, afterwards people can make other toilets near where they are camping. Build several loos which close and which are clean.
build toilets which have several holes.
Idea of making luxury info-toilets with reading material such as brochures.(translators note: call it Edu-bum!)
We will opt more for holes in the ground rather than trays with sawdust.
Make both collective showers and individual showers so that everybody feels confortable.
Parking : contact the house with blue shutters, at the chapel. Ennous, next to the cemetary. NO parking below.
Shuttles : 2 shuttles a day with drivers and vehicles that sign up for this duty.
We haven't yet decided if its better to have one or several kitchen spaces, perhaps 2 or 3. Anyway, it is possible to make a large kitchen in the summer construction under the house.
The land is well connected to water at several places.
There will not however be enough shady space for everyone to eat there.Need to increase shade with tarpaulins at the kitchen space and other areas.
It's also been decided that there won't be a canteen but self-organised kitchen areas which need collective action to enable them to work.
integrate typical children's schedules (breakfast, a snack for those who rise late, lunch at 1, evening meal at 8. Plan 2 snacks a day for the kids ( elevenses and tea-time)
Shall we have a rota for people manning the infirmary ? We could have a base team who have enough first aid and partner them up with volunteers. Or we have no one manning the infirmary, just people from the medics team on call when needed.
Kamo will ask Joviale if she is coming with the children which she will have this summer.
other stuff (bertha!)
How to manage conflict and aggression. To be discussed in August.
Relations with the town hall and the local police. Warn the chief of police in Augtust, then the fire brigade or the red cross as well as the town hall. we will see to this in August when everyone is present.
1-3/ Wish list/material needs
see the list of materials needed/proposed PreparAction/MatoS
Sleeping arrangements. We need to warn people that they must bring a tent, a sleeping bag and their cup/plate and cutlery. We will also take some extras for those who don't have any of this stuff. Need to find some therefore. lipjo will go to Emmaüs (salvation army) for cutlery/ plates and the rest.
STRUCTURES. Ask people to bring materials ( tarpaulins etc). Émile wants to see with other people how to make benders/tents etc. Marcelle will see in Freiburg, if we can use some of the structures there when they have finished with them. For the dôme, lipjo volonteers to contact Renaud. there is also two or three domes on the land already. there are maybe other useful stuff at Amien which we will ask latumeur to find out about.
We need as many tarps and as much fabric as poss (kamo will ask at longo).
We must find straw bales which will make good discussion spaces like at Longo. For straw the people of Frayss are also interested. Ask people from Tarn who are coming. Now is the time to ask locally.
LOOS. Need to take toilet paper. bins for toilet paper. Plastic containers. Gaetan has a plan for skipping plastic containers. Also way of getting pallets.
SHOWERS. Need to find rubber hoses or supple pipes for water.
TOOLS. There is probably a lack of tools for working. shovels, buckets, machetes. latumeur will do an inventory of tools and tell us what we need
WOOD. Kamo contact Simon and Bertrand in order to find out from a logistical point of view when he will arrive and if its possible to have wood. Here there is plenty of chestnut wood, 2/3 metres long. there are planks we can get from bellevue. Have to find wood for roofing over sleeping areas and to sit on (say 15). there is also spare bits from the sawmill nearby. (gaetan).
* VEHICLES. Need one or several vehicles during August for transport of materials (dynamo will do a call out, latumeur will speak to Jack). Oil filters. Ask at Roule ma fleur (lipjo) * KITCHENS. skip Biocoop, lipjo will call StAffrique, Solebiopais and Manu (to speak to food producers), Absurde will buy the food for Dijon at Montpellier (dynamo will contact her and Vanessa to see if she can bring some). dynamo plans to do the markets (?)(at Lansargue), see also Greg (lipjo). Lipjo can bring three trivets. Invite les Radis noirs and the Poitiers canteen, who could bring their cooking equipment, not to be cooks but to participate in the event. Need also large cooking pots. * MEDICS. Medical equipment and materials. Lipjo will bring some medical documentation (there is already a list on this wiki: PreparAction/Medics). Print out brochures. Don't forget contraception and protection against sexual disease such as condoms.
2-1/ what do we want to achieve and why ?
(saturday afternoon discussion)
Why are we organising this here? Why within the PGA framework ? And what is the PGA? And what do we want to do exactly ? We went around the table brainstorming, to plunge ourselves into it. Num and Marcelle continued on this note the next day, to derive a wish list of discussions, workshops, projects, etc We wanted to list on what level also, each of us wants to involve ourselves and what needs to be done. The results of this discussion are on point 2-2 " contents and the people who will enable these discussions to take place"
marcelle. Network with which i have already participated. I wanted to bring something to the PGA. to bring our ways of doing things to the PGA. To give something back not just take. Want also to meet lots of people. PGA meetings are also a way of meeting a mix of people who we would not normally meet. I like organising things. I have experience in this and i find it fun. Open up a meeting space like that, allows me to question things in strategic and political terms. To stir up people with the goal of confronting ways of doing things and ways of being an activist. A good opportunity to talk about social change. Its allows me to ask myself once again what we are doing, where we are going with it, in general.
At Frayss, we are going to discuss two of the themes that have been close to my heart for several years, that is children and industrial society. therefore for me its funny that we happen to be discussing those two particular themes at the same time. I above all want to ask questions about our ways of being activists. What are we hoping to achieve and how? these discussions could be a method of explaining ourselves, why we do certain things, how it went, to figure out if we are succeeding, if we are satisfied, how much further we want to go. On a personal level, I want to tell people what we've been doing in Grenoble in recent times.
I am also interested in questioning the partitioning of the anti industrial movement, the idea often associated with it that that is first and foremost in terms of the various struggles that we have. Mixing this subject with questions about childhood could lead to new ideas. Why is there this question of priorities ? This smacks of the kind of world and ways of doing things that i am trying to move away from.
I also ask what concretly we can do here with the people of frayssinouss. What are we going to construct right here and what will we screw up here. Questions need to be asked inside frayssinouss, but that also depends on the people here and our own capacity to meld with them.
What are we going to do about the people who come from elsewhere? How can we recieve them, deal with their situations, understand each other ( different languages, different cultures). How can we make sure that discussions are not too insular, too french ?
émile. It's great that these meetings are taking place, even if they are just coming to see this place. It's going to be interesting to be confronted by the kind of questions that new people will ask, that could help us in frayssinous progress in our own interior communications.
It's also important that everybody meets here: people who come from different countries, the kid's space, the different practical activities that will take place not just the discussions.
num. My main iinvolvement is the theme of children ( i'm also interested in the anti- industrial discussions but have nothing to contribute at present). I want to meet other people who are asking questions about childhood. I'd like to see what can emerge in terms of the fight to change things, learn new ways of doing things, building a network who are also thinking about these matters etc.En fait, j'ai fait une liste en vrac de sujets ou d'activités que j'aimerai bien aborder d'une manière ou d'une autre:
-The notions "educate, protect, instruct etc" what does all that reallly mean?
-Also the theme of parenthood.
-There is also the idea of having theatre workshops. We could present a scene at the beginning to inspire people. then work with others during the week. Maybe even take the play elsewhere, to Saint affrique for instance, and have a discussion about it (lipjo). We could think about this idea of of a game about ageism as an introductory piece, maybe that would be easier in terms of translation (marcelle).
-I want to find supporting texts, for say, discussions that would be more theoretical ( although we should talk about if theoretical discussions are what we want and how many of them should we have). I'd like to decode writings ( particularly some in english from the US) regarding extending rights for children.
-Home schooling. Some people know these theme better than me. I'd like to learn more about the history of the french homeschooling network “Les Enfants d'abord” (contacted by lipjo), where they've come from, how radical are they ? What politcal aims do they have if any? What other networks are there ? What to do about it? We could perhaps invite the people from this network in order to understand what they are up to, how it works etc?
-Think about ways of alleviating the oppression felt by children
-Would like possibility of continuing to work with this theme even after the summer meeting.
armin. My first impression of the PGA, was that it was a bit like the top of a tree ( myself, a collective, a network, a network of a network which would be the PGA). Stuff happens like a domino effect as a result of this network.
I also would like the PGA to discuss things that are the things that i worry about on a daily basis. Above all to make the link between the questions of activism, children, compost toilets, communal cooking etc. To invent new ways of getting together, create an energy that will take us further.
Also the idea of asking questions and discussing themes in a way that kids can understand, so that it's open, that we are not imposing or dominating in the way that we plan things.
On a more concrete level, some people from La Vallette ( a squatted rural community near Ales) are also interested in creating theatrical projects. I've also a friend, Delphine, who has interviewed and recorded loads of kids on just the questions that we are asking, and that would be a brilliant bit of supporting research.
Anyway, we 've discussed a certain number of points which could become plans of action.
-childhood and questioning it.
-taking apart parenthood (on a theoretical level)
-deconstructing the couple
-unschooling (independant shared schooling)
-question over relationship to time
lipjo. I came across the PGA before I joined the Sans-titre ( French activist network), between 97 and 98. My first impression was that it was a powerful organisation with very different types of people in it. That it was a very enthusiastic and inspiring thing. After the organisation of Noborders 2002, with critcism of counter-summits, etc., there was a feeling of the PGA breaking down. I didn't participate in the Belgrade conference which I found a bit crap (in terms of action, people and the world(global)) but also at the same time rather interesting because people were still meeting each other, networking. But when meetings did take place, they were badly organised. The PGA, it could be a way of asking questions, it could be fantastically strong, but right now, especially in Europe, it's going through a bad patch. Perhaps we aren't asking ourselves the right questions.
We could organise meetings without the PGA, but at the same time, I like the sense of continuity with what has happened before that the PGA framework provides. It's like a cooking pot, or a vase or a shell, but it's empty. We need to fill it up. We really are in a ghetto. This is a real question, how can I bring people who don't know the code of behaviour of this ghetto to participate in these events? In what way is this global? Is what way can we take action ? In what way can we say that we are "the people"? And that really interests me at the moment, this idea of the "people". Who are they? Can we use this term? I'd like to invite people from CEMEA for instance.
Regarding the themes.
- If we talk about independance, especially with regard to education, we are far from the practises that happen elsewhere such as in Chiapas, which is often limited to the individual, or little affinity groups etc. Which means that we lack size. What can we initiate in terms of popular action, which will make a mark, not only for our/my children, but also in the greater sense? How do we start something collective which is not just an individual or small group? As a result of my experiences at the noborder camp and at belgrade: I ask how can we build an activist type gathering that doesn't effectively exclude children ?
- Regarding the anti-industrial theme, when linked to children, there is the question of worshipping technology, of over-industrialising the world surrounding our children. I would really like to see workshops that attempt to liberate us from our relationship with machines.
- Interesting combination of people interested in the subject of children and people interested in the anti- industrial question: it could be innovative to push the boundaries between the two rather different groups of people and their respective ways of doing things. Would like things to open up.
Kamo. I'm rather interested in the concept of who are the people and also the empty shell. I'd like to work on the links between people and their respective struggles. To see in what way our ideas can be truly shared. To find ways of protesting that are genuinely universal. Also to escape the ghetto, the counter-culture ghetto etc. To renew the meaning and continuation of the PGA, its important to work on those issues. The question of popularity ( in the sense of the people) is also linked to the anti- industrial theme. Ways of popular resistance? Poverty in the post industrial world? The experience of living inside the industrial world, a world that is imposed upon us on a crazy scale ? To put in perspective the situation we are in ? What forces shall we put in place to create social change? What is social change?
It would be great to, for instance regarding children, to ask the people invited to talk about what they do, where they are at etc. To give an opportunity to speak about particular issues/ struggles. Afterwards, we could rediscuss it but in smaller groups. In other words, start with introductory sessions that are lectures from individuals, groups, then a few days later, to open up the discussion.
We need to reflect upon ways of deepening the discussions, to really share things, which is difficult in groups.
I'd like also to have plenty of free time to meet other people, to be able to discuss things in a less public way
I also want to have a good time, party, dance.
I'd like to have arguments too, not just communicate politely. I have a fear of the tendancy to neutralise everything, to repress debate, to worry about and manage the effects.
I want this to end with some concrete action.
I would like some supporting documentation too...
With regard to children, i'd like to discover what people are doing in this respect
anita. I didn't know the PGA before going to budapest last april with the others. Myself, I think society is very individualistic and i'm interested in what is taught to children. It seems to me that nobody escapes all this, the consumer society etc. What do we really want to do in fact? How are we going to discuss this? Also to what extent are we doing this for children? With them? I'd like it that we ask ourselves in a very concrete way what we want to achieve. What are we as adults proposing? What is important in relating to children? Lets speak about giving kids attention and love. There are writings by jean-claude Michéa that we could look at in relation to this subject (kamo).
delfino. I haven't known the PGA for very long and I don't have any experience in this area. I'm thinking mostly about what will happen here this summer, and what we could organise so that it's really good.
In terms of themes, I don't really have the energy to bring alot to it, but it interests me, especially regarding children (we will be hosting many children here this summer in the cevennes.)
I'm awaiting also a proper visit of the place in order to see how things will work out.
dynamo. I'm interested in the idea of sharing our thoughts with children/ thinking about what we do with them/ for them.
Im interested in the ideas of openness and the 'people".
Am also interested in other forms of action and other ways of meeting
Equally I agree with Anita regarding the shutting out of children in our milieux
2-2/ Recap of content to be discussed and the people who will enable this
(summary of sat afternoons discussion)
Stuff linked to children/childhood
-construction of a play space (zeb)
-radio station "marmaille" (neurone)
* * *
-home schooling, non-education
-children in activism, (armin, lipjo)
-links with time schedules, with rythms...
-deconstruction of words such as "protect, educate, instruct, responsibility, minority" and other words specific to what we call childhood. (lipjo, num)
-parenthood, couples, gender : deconstruction ! (armin)
-experiences from chiapas and elsewhere (anne-sy)
- social control of youth, psychiatric institutionalisation of children/childhood (armin) "shrink to fit", young offenders prisons
-" youth movements " (kamo, lipjo)
* * *
-theatre workshop and other games (num, dynamo)
-introduce the question of ageism by a game / find a way of expressing resentments specific to our ages (num/marcelle)
-workshop to liberate ourselves from machines (lipjo)
-plaster engraving (latumeur)
* * *
-research theoretical supporting documentation (num, kamo)
-create a on-going workshop project highlighting the subject of childhood (armin)
Stuff linked to the fight against industrial capitalism
-Because we always seem to discuss themes linked to childhood when we talk of content, we end up never having the time to discuss more in detail, the anti industrial theme, even though lots of people says that they are interested. therefore we need to have a meeting beginning of August to go through in more detail content and the form it will take. (Some things already listed in the toulouse and lyon meetings, see those summaries). The data below is only about the stuff that we rediscussed.
* * *
-is there popular resistance to the industrialised world ? (kamo)
-links with "anti-industrial " practices, as in Do It Yourself, which are not always seen as linked with the anti-industrial movement.
* * *
-summing up/ introduction of experiments, movements, periods of struggle (grenoble, biometrics in paris, anti animal micro-chipping/tarn, the fight against genetically modified food...) We must have a call out for contributions.(marcelle, kamo) ((presentation on the various forms of protest with the basic question "what links and contacts has this created?" " how were these links considered by the people involved?" "how do we use these strong feelings amongst society in order to extend the struggle?" "how were relations between the people involved transformed by this struggle? etc* * *
-workshop to free ourselves from machines (lipjo)
-prioritisation and division of protest (marcelle, armin, lipjo - beg August)
-wood workshops (simon, bertrand)
Stuff linked to the PGA/protest strategies
-prioritisation and division of protest (marcelle, armin, lipjo - beg August)
-the people, the people's fight, etc. /linked to getting out of the ghetto (without kids, it's not really about the people...)
Bring to the centralised meeting in Dijon these discussions around the notion of the "people", "the people's struggle", escaping the activist ghetto, change and social movements.
Projects/themes/questions which link to other themes
which regards also our own methods of functioning during the meetings
- relation to time schedules, to daily rhythms, to not over-schedule in order to permit general hob- knobbing, gossiping, flirting, dossing, partying, other contributions...
- have a party, dance, maybe a concert
- pay attention that everything we undertake is also accessible to kids.
Discussing this last point with relation to the writing of the invitation to this meeting, we realised that we weren't capable of using a sole language to communicate with everyone, whatever their age, language, cultural baggage etc. Whilst attempting to maintain accessibility for everyone, we didn't want to abandon the expression of the complexity of our thoughts, theoretical, abstract or highly knowledgeable research which nourish our discussions. We must resort therefore to 'translation', 'simplifying', reformulating ideas into other methods of communication such as stories, little comics, workshops etc. stuff that we can't straight away express in accessible terms. * * *
-creation of an info-point, info-toilet (armin, num, lipjo), think of brochures/writings in other languages, reading areas, ask bookshops to participate (for instance 'Scrupule' , (an alternative bookshop in Montpellier)? ask mina)
* * *
-have presentations/accounts of personal experiences, of groups, of specific moments. We must come up with a way of suggesting this to people, who to contact and how, etc (kamo)
-debating workshop on the debates themselves, something that will particularly take into account language (marcelle, beg August and during the meeting)
-oh and it would be good not to completely organise things to the point that nobody else can contribute, communicate, we must remain open to new ideas, networking, and be able to passionately argue about something and even quarrel etc* * *
-to speak to and work with the people of frayssinouss before and during; to decide with them the best way to present frayssinouss and its particular local dynamics during the meeting; ideally we will have several meetings with them, perhaps even daily, find ways of enabling people to have their say, followed by what will happen;
* * *
- see who is interested in the idea of non mixed spaces. Perhaps we should have wider discussions in order to explain the thinking behind this desire ( before? During?)
- to make advances with the idea of an exclusive space for children
* * *
- organisation of translation/ interpretation although this could be done in a centralised way PreparAction/TradUction
* * *
- to make sure that we don't have to make a choice between the two themes childhood/anti-indus.
* * *
- Bring to the centralised meeting in Dijon a summary of these discussions and to reflect upon what we will take to Dijon ( we await further discussions in Dijon that will take place around the 14 of July)
- think of everything now not just when the meeting starts on the 19th of August!
2-3/ tchi-taï-do and the writing of the invitation to frayssinouss
An official invitation is being written by lipjo and dynamo.
It needs to be reworked with comments from others and include decisions from the lyon june 3rd meeting.
Added to it will be the counter industrial notes (kamo and marcelle)