Minutes of our organising meeting, 27th May 2020

What’s going on in the world?

  • Another black man killed by the police in the US. Then the demonstration protesting his death was tear gassed. On the same day, armed demonstrators protesting the COVID-19 lockdown were allowed to march. Could this mean a resurgence of Black Lives Matter?

  • British government advisor on COVID-19 Dominic Cummings was caught travelling 200 miles during lockdown with his wife and kid. His excuses are very implausible. Its still too early to know whether and how much this will damage the government but at the moment even the right wing press are attacking them.

  • In India, feminist activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal have been arrested and imprisoned for attending a peaceful protest. You can sign the protest letter at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEMtXaZ11FPIQrQpB3253nthd86uVfopSwY5fZGVL-8Q1WOw/viewform. If no-one objects by 12 noon on Thursday, we will also sign as an LAG.


 

How did the last meetings go?

  • Both the EU and Cuba meeting went well. The EU meeting didn’t have a large public (meetings on the EU rarely do), up to 82 people attended the Cuba meeting (its difficult to be certain, as we only have statistics for how many people visited the page. This can include the same people visiting more than once)

  • Dr Emily Brown, who spoke at the Cuba meeting, has offered to write something for our Website. We’d find it great if she does.

  • Mobilisation for the Cuba meeting went particularly well, with many people or organisations sharing the facebook Event. We need to think how we can reproduce this experience for future meetings


 

Meetings in June

  • Everything is in place for the Italy meeting on 8 June. Marco will talk about how the health system in Lombardy broke down, Eliana will talk about how trade unions managed to shut down factories while keeping everyone on full pay.

  • Eliana will speak in Italian. Marco has offered to translate, but we’ll look at the possibility of organising a simultaneous translation. Judith will talk to Paola, Tom to a group of translators who have offered to help. POST-MEETING NEWS: Paola will translate

  • It would be great, if people could invite everyone they know to the meeting: https://www.theleftberlin.com/events/italy-suffering-and-resistance-in-the-heart-of-covid-19, https://www.facebook.com/events/543700009916747/. Background information (including articles by both speakers) at https://www.theleftberlin.com/articles-about-italy

  • For the meeting on resistance in the Arab world (22 June), Hossam and the speaker from Sudan have confirmed. Fida’a says that the Lebanese speaker has also confirmed but we’re waiting to make contact. We are contacting 2 different possible speakers from Algeria.

 

Meeting in July

  • In July, Israel is preparing to annexe the West Bank. In other news, Israeli economist Shir Hever (http://www.shirhever.com/ ) has offered to do us a meeting. We would therefore like to organise something on where Israel is going under Netanyahu, and what this means for the two-state solution.

  • As well as Shir, we’d like to invite a Palestinian speaker, plus someone from Germany who can explain the special context of the discussion here. To preserve gender representation, at least one of these speakers should be a women, preferably both.

  • We will contact Palästina Spricht and the Jüdische Stimme and ask if they’d like to co-host. Our final decision on speakers, title etc. will come after consulting with them.

  • We have set up a group to prepare the meeting. So far, Phil, Tom and Hanna are there, and we’ll ask if Elizabeth is interested in getting involved.

  • The meeting will take place on either 13 July or 27 July, depending on speaker availability (POST-MEETING FEEDBACK: Shir is available on both days).

  • If it is possible, we’d like to consider having this meeting semi-open, that is having, say, 10 people in the room from which we broadcast.


 

Future Meetings

  • We will go back to meeting once a month, so that we can spend more time letting people know about the meeting. This means that we won’t make any final decisions about meetings till future orga meetings, but we have some ideas.

  • In September, the EU is due to have a summit with China in Leipzig. This would be a good opportunity to have a meeting on the balance of world power between the US and China. Hong Kong-based journalist Kevin Lin (who has a new article on our Website) has said he could speak.

  • As the Berlin S-Bahn is being privatised, we’ll consider inviting a British rail worker to talk about privatisation there (this is maybe something we can do together with Eine S-Bahn für Alle, or other LINKE groups.

  • We need to keep an eye on the US to see whether its worth having a meeting on what’s happening with Black Lives Matter


 

Report back from the Web team

  • The Web team met last week (see separate mail for full report). Here’s a summary of the most important decisions.

  • We have already implemented some changes to the weekly Newsletter. All feedback (good and bad) is welcome.

  • From this week, we are starting a new feature “Campaign of the Week”, introducing campaigns and organisations active in Berlin. We already have some lined up, but please let us know of any you think we should cover. If possible, we’d like to introduce a campaign shortly before an Event or Action that they’re organising.

  • The Web team is running well, but would be stronger if we have back up in the following areas. If you’re interested or want to know more, please contact us at lag.internationals@die-linke-berlin.de

    • One more editor who proof reads articles before publication

    • One more translator (German-English)

    • Someone to write the “German News in Brief” section of our Newsletter (Tom can tell you where to find the necessary information).


 

Money

  • We will donate €50 to the people organising the software that we use for online meetings. Tom to communicate with Ferran about how we do this

  • We also want to talk more with the translators who have offered to translate our meetings. Tom will talk more with them

  • On top of this, there are a few projects already planned (stickers, visiting cards, Christmas Party). We will have a full discussion at what we want to spend in the second half of 2020 at the next organising meeting.

 

Hermsdorf

  • Our Summer camp in Hermsdorf is still scheduled for 12-13 September. Its still uncertain whether it can take place.

  • At the next orga meeting, we want to take a decision whether we believe it will happen. If it will, we will set up a group to propose a timetable etc.


 

Next meeting

  • We propose having the next organising meeting on Wednesday, 24 June. Does anyone see a good reason why that wouldn’t work?