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IOPS Birmingham / West Midlands Members Meeting Report

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Date: Fri 7 Dec 2012

Time 18:00 - 19:00 + social

Location: Mark’s house

Present: Stephen, Tom, Mark

As agreed at the previous meeting all members would contributed £10 per month.  We decided to put this money into the bookstall petty cash to help generate some funds for new material.  


> Save the NHS / 38 Degrees

Stephen discussed his continued involvement in his 38 Degrees local group in Walsall.  He talked about how he is involved in organising local group meetings, bringing together various strands from within the left as well as members of the general public.  We discussed the strategy that is being employed by this group to help protect the NHS from privatisation.  Mark stated that he had requested to be invited to his local 38 Degrees group but had not yet heard from them.  

> Look at ZSocial

We took a little bit of time to look at ZSocial together.  This was in order to familiarise ourselves with the features available and to discuss how we might use ZSocial for organising purposes.  This is something we will look at again at future meetings.  

> Involvement in Local Campaigns

Tom talked about his involvement in his local anti-cuts group which is focusing on stopping the closures of Citizens Advice centres with the local area.  Following the meeting we all attended a fundraising social event for this group.  We also took along a handful of books and DVD’s from the IOPS bookstall to this event.

> Feedback on Up The Anti

Tom gave some feedback on the Up the Anti event which he attended in London.  He had both positive and negative things to say.  For example, on the up-side he said that it was good because it was a genuine pluralist event and not just a front by some dominant left group.  But on the down-side he noted that some of the speakers where very academic sounding (coordinator class) - which he thought could alienate people from getting involved.  He also said that, overall, the event failed to address the question of vision - even in the session called “What are we fighting for?”.   The one exception to this was our very own IOPS member, Harpreet, who spoke at this event and, according to Tom, did a very good job!  Tom also noted that there was a good IOPS presence at this event - he estimated around 10 members - but added that despite this there was no IOPS bookstall, which we all thought was a missed opportunity in basic organising.  

> North of Watford Group

We all discussed the North of Watford group which has been talking about organising a non-London based meeting for members.  We discussed the idea that we should offer to host a National gathering here in Birmingham for early next year.  Stephen said he would post something on the group forum to see what other members thought.   He will feed back on this at the next meeting.  

> Bookstall:

We all looked at the PPS-UK bookstall that Mark (and other ex-PPS members) had put together and that has now become an IOPS bookstall.  We discussed getting new books for the stall, including copies of Fanfare.  

Action Points:

> Stephen to propose that the West Mids / BIrmingham chapter host a National gathering early next year.  He will initially put this to the North of Watford group to see what they think first and then we will take it from there.  

> Tom / Stephen to contact Harpreet regarding bulk ordering copies of Fanfare for all UK members.  

Next Meeting:



Discussion 1 Comments

  • Preeti Kaur 23rd Dec 2012

    Hi Mark - Thanks for this report. Just a point as regards feedback from Up the Anti - we asked for a bookstall and were told there was not enough space. Not a missed opportunity therefore, there was no opportunity! Queen Mary university - where Up the Anti was held - said there could only be 3 tables at the front on the day, one of which was for registration.
    The two others according were for books - Pluto Press and Housemans.

    Separately, I look forward to hearing more about the possibility of West Mids / BIrmingham chapter hosting a national gathering early next year!