Monday, August 22, 2005

Sydney Social Forum

Dear Friends,

It's just under three weeks to go until the fourth Sydney Social Forum.

Unlike any other conference, the Sydney Social Forum is a do-it-yourself event. The SSF is not a series of "workshops" where panels of "experts" lecture to you. The SSF is an open space where maximum participation is encouraged. It's the participants who decide the content of the sessions, how they are run, and the issues that are discussed.

So what do you want to talk about? What are the issues that concern you?

Already, there have been a number of sessions registered covering a variety of topics, but there's still time for you to get involved and have a say.

You can register your session prior to the weekend, but you can also simply turn up on the day and be able to host one.

Below you can find out the hows and whys of getting you or your organisation involved and sharing your experiences and ideas in what will be a fantastic weekend for the social movements in our city.

Another Sydney is Possible!

SSF Organising Team
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
27-29 August 2005
Petersham West TAFE
Petersham Town Hall
The Sydney Mint

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

ISSUES AND OUTCOMES Generally speaking, the weekend two days of the SSF are to discuss "where we're at" and "we're we want to be" in terms of community and workplace activism - to educate ourselves, share experiences, and try to arrive as possible outcomes, solutions, and strategies to make it happen.

WORKSHOP STYLE The SSF organising team is encouraging participants to think about the type of workshop you wish to hold, and how you might maximise the time-slot. For instance, you are encouraged to work out if you're going to hold an educational style workshop, or an activist style workshop. An "educational" workshop may be held lecture style, and is designed to allow those who may be new to an issue or new to activism to get a broader understanding. An "activist" workshop should be more dynamic, aimed at a particular constituency who may be more or less up to date with the area of concern. The aim should be maximum participation from those present. You might consider having a 5-10 minute intro followed by 20 minutes of discussion, 5 minutes from the front and further discussion etc. Try to think of how you can make the workshop "dynamic" and give yourself and participants the best chance of arriving at "outcomes".

THINK NETWORKING You are also encouraged to think beyond your particular issue or campaign area and consider how you could share the platform with other groups or speakers who may be able to contribute more broadly to a common area of interest. Remember, the SSF is not simply a "talk-fest", but an opportunity to network and broaden links among our social movements.


1) GET REGISTERED You will need to be registered as an individual or an organisation to be able to hold a workshop.

2) WORK OUT YOUR TOPIC Think about the style of session you might hold in light of the suggestions above. Get in touch with other groups and maybe arrange a working group to identify the main issues in a particular area. For example, a number of environmental activists from different areas and organisations have formed a working group to discuss the most important issues regarding the environment and the best way to present and discuss them.

3) GET IN TOUCH WITH THE SSF ORGANISING TEAM We will take your workshop details and publicise them at the SSF website. Details required are: * workshop title * brief description about the aim of the workshop * who's speaking * proposed day/time * your contact details. We may also be able to put you in touch with others who may be considering a similar workshop, as well at let you know about any broad issue-based working groups which may be up and running. If there are particular time constraints (such as speaker availability), please indicate a possible time for your workshop.

4) PUBLICISE YOUR SESSION The SSF Organising Team does general publicity for the overall forum, but it's up to you to make sure that people know about your session. It's not safe to assume a "readymade audience" Get your friends and contacts to register for the weekend. Call and email all your contacts and anyone else who you want to attend your workshop and the SSF in general. Give them a leaflet or direct them to check out the SSF website. Following the final workshop deadline, a full publicity kit with PDF leaflets, posters, and rego forms will be available from the website. Just download, photocopy and start dishing them out!


If you have any questions or if you want to get hold of leaflets and posters etc, please contact the organising team.

Phone: Melanie 0403 051 606 or Vince 0438 800 244

Sydney Social Forum

By SSF posted 22 August 05


THOUSANDS of protesters to take over Circular Quay

In an attempt to disrupt a conference involving some of the world's top business executives THOUSANDS of protesters are to take over Circular Quay.

Illegal and Degrading War

Teachers accused of anti-US bias
AUSTRALIA: The fascist federal treasurer has drawn a rebuke from teachers for warning them against spreading anti-Americanism in schools and suggesting it could mutate into anti-Westernism and terrorist attacks against Australia.

State Terror

The Terrorism of ASIO Laws
Wanda Fish asks Australian Senators to reject Howard's proposal to strengthen laws that already erode our basic legal rights. This legislation has the potential to turn ASIO agents into terrorists who can kidnap and detain innocent Australians simply because they "might know something".

Social Services

Australian Greens Senator Responds To: Social Services Cuts
I am writing to you because I am concerned about people living in poverty in Australia. In Parliament, legislation will be introduced to put many people with disabilities and single parents on unemployment payments. If this law goes ahead unchanged, more people will live on less money after July 2006.

Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare or how to steal social services?
Ever wondered why there are so many homeless, why we need a 10 pc GST, lack of services for mental disability, still paying off the Olympics, poor public transport planning etc etc etc?


Work for the dole is legal slavery
Work for the dole was originally sold to us by Howard as a warm and fuzzy light work project. We would be working for nothing but we would be enjoying giving back something to the community, so it was reckoned.

Military Spending

Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.

Climate Change

Pressure remains on Australia as Kyoto takes effect
The Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will today come into force after a decade of deliberations.

HoWARd: Winner who failed to lead by example but still won?
CHRISTMAS and the lead-up have their familiar rituals. On Christmas Day there is the present giving, church going and massive lunch, followed by the big recovery sleep.

Kyoto Protocol start date set
The Kyoto Protocol to combat global warming will take effect from February 16 after Russia formally handed over its notice of ratification overnight.