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IOPS London Meeting Minutes

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IOPS London Meeting
Tuesday, 2nd September 2014
9 members attended: 
Rob, Sophie, Laura, Matt, JP, Daniel, David, Preeti and Paul
Apologies: Mark, Tom, James, Anthony and Sofa. Paul R is away until the end of the month.
Minutes by Sophie
Facilitation by Rob


a) THEORY: Tim Gee ' Counterpower'

Please read this text prior to the meeting:http://newint.org/books/politics/counterpower/, for discussion


Report back on Actions and activities that we participated in; 

Social events and other IOPS events; 

Feedback on IOPS Projects that London members are active in; and 

Develop IOPS-London strategy going forward;

Next IOPS London meeting;


Minute taking – and posting on website

Posting events on website

Deciding theory topic

IOPS-London Summary Minutes Tuesday 02 September meeting

A) THEORY: Tim Gee ' Counterpower' http://newint.org/books/politics/counterpower/

Prior to the meeting, all participants had explored all or parts of Tim Gee book 'Counterpower' http://newint.org/books/politics/counterpower/

This was followed by a 50 minute conversation touching on:

- The 3 main aspects of Counterpower; idea, economic & physical

- Examples Counterpower; Indian Independence Movement/Ghandi, 1980's Climate movement, UK Miners Strike, Conscientious objectors, Miners in SA

- Gene Sharp's '198 Methods of Non-Violent Action': http://www.everydayrebellion.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/198_methods-1.pdf 

- Subversion of State/Institutional power actions

- Effectiveness of some counterpower tactics in more repressive societies

- Is violence inevitable? 

- Political climate / has post-labour neo-libralism made it more difficult to organise?

- Examples provided in the Tim Gee text related to times in history where there has been momentum for change, and large scale organising. Frustration with having never been a part of a large-scale successful movement

- Human nature - are we inherently selfish

- Why it's important to have a theory of change: how this may impact the way in which we structure IOPS, the campaigns we get involved in etc

- Are we capable of forming a mass movement / every movement starts with individuals: Idea that there will always be a core group of committed organising and at points in history - perhaps due to a crises - wider groups of community members will flood into the organising group. What do we do inbetween the floods? How do we strategise? How do we do this ethically, and with integrity.

- Examples of what could be done in between floods - suggested by Mark Bray at the Translating Anarchy talk: 1) Training e.g. The wildfire project : http://www.wildfireproject.org/ was mentioned in relation to the activists role in preparing for the next crises when movements can ignite.) 2) Building networks with other groups it was from this discussion that the London Solidarity Network idea - see below - was raised again.

- How do movements build? In what context, using what tactics? How important is it to get involved in grassroots campaigns for change today and be outward facing, while also get involved in providing social services such as soup kitchens.

- OFS and FARJ as examples of groups working with campaigns to strengthen disperate movements with the hope that by doing so larger and larger groups of people will be committed organisers over periods of time and the distinction between organisers and community slowly lessons and lessons. 

- What examples do we have of things working?

- Placing IOPS in a political context of Britain today - in 2014 - and understanding other groups/NGOs etc working today

- Promoting work in grassroots struggles, community and positive action


In the second part of the meeting, from 8pm until 9.30pm, we discussed:

1. Actions and activities taking place in London

No TTIP Day of action Planning Meeting this Saturday 6th September at Friends of the Earth http://www.nottip.org.uk/news/

The Food Assembly is operating in London : https://thefoodassembly.com/en


5TH SEPTEMBER at 6.30pm The Ritzy, Brixton Oval, Coldharbour Ln, 

London SW2 1JG

"RACE, RESISTANCE, RENAISSANCE is a triple-bill of short films and documentaries exploring diverse and explosive portraits of Black British identity and politics, from the 1960s to 1990s. Screening followed by a featured Q&A with film curator June Givanni- founder of Pan African Cinema Archive, Black Film Bulletin Magazine and former director of the African/Caribbean Film Unit at the British Film Institute." - http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Ritzy_Picturehouse/film/Bca_Film_Season_Race_Resistance_Renaissance_Q_A/

'Still the Enemy Within' - Feature Docoumentary London Premiere Screening 

4TH OCTOBER at 5.15pm The Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square, London


"Still the Enemy Within is a unique insight into one of history’s most dramatic events: the 1984-85 British Miners’ Strike. No experts. No politicians. Thirty years on, this is the raw first-hand experience of those who lived through Britain’s longest strike. Follow the highs and lows of that life-changing year."  - http://the-enemy-within.org.uk/

Injustice - (2001/98 minutes/UK/Dir: Ken Fero & Tariq Mehmood/Migrant Media)


A film following the struggle for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody.You should check out the FB page for UFFC, a coalition who campaigns on the issue. https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Families-Friends-Campaign-UFFC/308702409174443


£7 / £5 conc


2. Feedback on IOPS Projects that London members are active in 


Laura reported back on progress from the No TTIP campaign.

- after the July 12th March members meet to reflect on the action

- divided into groups (parlimentary, target, comms, co-ordination & outreach)

- as part of the outreach group Laura and others have been leafletting areas related to food (raising awareness of how TTIP will effect food chain) farmers markets, wholefood stores.

- the outreach group has also been meeting locally to plan more action

- 38 degrees postcode search is a useful tool to put people in touch with others involved in No TTIP in their local area: http://ttipaction.38degrees.org.uk/

- A day of action has been planned for 11th October

Power Beyond Privilege


The first meeting was held on 20th August

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 17th September (Time/Venue TBC)

A workshop facilitated by Seeds for Change will be held on Sunday 12th

Faciltiation Skills share 21 September - Birkbeck - full day 

London Roots - donations needed.

Radical Media Club : http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london/projects/radical-media-club

We decided to start a documentary topic as part of the Radical Media Club on the IOPS website. Actioned here: http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london/projects/radical-media-club/recommended-documentaries

London Chapter Video Project http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london/projects/london-chapter-video-project

Some discussion and suggestions from online members via the IOPS webite. 

We decided that the Project can be managed online by members involved. More members are welcome.

Sophie would still like to help facillitate something with other IOPS members but unfortunately has limited time left in London (leaving Oct 16th). She suggested sending out a calendar to members of the project to determine availability for a potential skill share day.  

We decided it was ok to approach other groups on behalf of IOPS London for the purposes of arranging potential interviews focusing on the work and tactics of the group participating.

Preeti suggested DPAC, Platform London and Freirn Barnet Library Campaign as potential contacts should the project want to pursue interviewing local activists.

3. Developing a London Solidarity Network: http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/london-solidarity-network

There was significant interest from the group to pursue this idea.

Preeti put a list of questions to be considered relating to this and suggested we discuss further at the next meeting:

  • previous attempts to build networks
  • why a network?
  • what kind of network
  • how do we engage ethically with other groups
  • what contacts can we bring
  • what skills/amount of time can we each as individuals bring to this proposal
  •  what type of groups do we want to connect with

4. How do we engage ethically with other groups/campaigns as IOPS members?

This issue was raised several times throughout the discussion. We decided when working with other groups/activists our priority should be strengthening the campaign/task at hand. 

The OFS strategy of valuing the needs of the movement over growing our own numbers was cited as an example of ethical engagement. 

For more infor see: http://www.afreesociety.org/an-introduction/

5. Getting clarity on strategy

In Mark's absence Preeti proposed reviewing the idea they have both discussed of considering the basics of what we need to establish as a group before formally launching IOPS publicly. Ideas Mark and Preeti are putting forward are contained in this Pirate Pad:


It would be great if others could review and add their suggestions on what subjects we need clarity on before we can work together publicly on a campaign, for example.

Matthew suggested creating/editing a Library section on the on the website. There is already a Resources section but it is not structured in a way that makes it easy to use: http://www.iopsociety.org/resources

Could get in touch with Johannes the Admin to do this 

Preeti will also send regular London IOPS members an attachment via e-mail with a list of resources weve been using and discussing, as well as others that are interesting, please e-mail her on preeti.k.paul@gmail.com for a copy. 

6. The next IOPS social event

The next social will be on Sunda 21 September after the Facilitation workshop. http://www.iopsociety.org/england/greater-london/events/meeting-facilitation-workshop-london

7. The next IOPS-London meeting


It was agreed that the next IOPS-London meeting will discuss Gene Sharp's '198 Methods of Non-Violent Action': http://www.everydayrebellion.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/198_methods-1.pdf 

There is also a film based on Gene Sharp's work called 'How to Start a Revolution' , here's a copy on youtube with greek subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3dN4ln9lzI

The following month, we will also look at a longer reading, chapter 6 of  'Anticapitalism and culture: Radical theory and popular politics - by Jeremy Gilbert http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=392115 with a view to having a deeper discussion at the following meeting scheduled for 28th October, Daniel also suggested the possibility of inviting the author or arranging a separate event for a Q&A .


As per agreement, the next meeting will take place on the last Tuesday of the next month, which is Tuesday 30th September. It will take place from 6.30pm until 9.30pm, Venue TBC. Confirm your attendance here: http://www.iopsociety.org/events/iops-london-meeting-september

Skills development and distribution/sharing of responsibilities 

The facilitation will be done by JD and Sophie, minutes by David.

Venue Booking

5 Fold Path to Productive meetingshttp://www.starhawk.org/Empowerment_Five-Fold-Path.pdf

Facilitation Guide: http://www.seedsforchange.org.uk/shortfacilitation

Taking minutes Guidehttp://www.seedsforchange.org.uk/minutes

Other agenda items to be discussed

Deciding how we would like to use the facebook page

Developing the London Solidarity Network

Clarifying IOPS London strategy/ our Theory of Change

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