The third event in this opening week of Next To Nowhere was another great success (honestly, I would say if it wasn’t; telling the truth is always a revolutionary act!). About twenty people discussed conspiracy theories – or ‘alternative proposals’ as I think we decided to call them – in a calm and respectful way. This was the first time I’ve ever seen that happen! It is possible!
We began with a wonderfully meandering and often bizarre introduction from the facilitator, which set exactly the right tone for the talk we were about to have! We then each said how much we believed in conspiracy theories out of ten, with one being “you’re all mad”, and ten “woo…er…there’s a robot in my pocket”. I don’t remember anyone saying less than three, although a couple refused to give any number, rejecting the entire premise of the question.
It soon became clear that people were most interested in the ‘alternative proposals’ surrounding the events of September 11th, 2001. This seemed to be because a) the people behind the Bush administration appear to have advanced their agendas using constant references to that day, and b) that many elements of the ‘official conspiracy theory’ don’t stack up.
The conversation eventually turned to what use (if any) activist groups should make of alternative proposals. Opinion was divided on this. A few felt that they should be central to somehow ‘awakening’ people to a world that has been pulled over their eyes. But the majority expressed different shades of the opinion that such arguments can turn people off radical politics, marginalising us, and that political change only happens when people become conscious of their own interests. I made the point that I believed the Bush government was likely to bear some responsiblity for 9/11, but I had come to these conclusions long after becoming anti-war, anti-police state, and indeed anti-capitalist. It was therefore difficult to see how alternative proposal people could avoid preaching to the converted. However, the idea was floated that we should have individual nights where people describe their own pet consp…alternative thingies, and no-one seemed to disagree this would be a fun thing to do.
Still to come this week:
Wednesday 19th September – 7.30pm – 9pm
Indymedia Info Night
The Liverpool Indymedia team present films and discussion introducing Indymedia and letting you know how to get the best out of the site.
Thursday 20th September – 7.30pm – 10pm
Introduction to Anarchism
Merseyside Anarchist Group presents speakers and discussion on the politics and history of anarchism. With speakers from the Anarchist Federation.
Friday 21st September – 7.30pm – 10pm
The Boy Who Dropped an Egg on the World – A Play
Jack’s Hard Rub theatre company present writer/director Julian Bond’s powerful anti-war production.
Saturday 22nd September – 7.30pm til late
School Students Against War – Benefit Night
Live music and DJs, good company and dancing to benefit School Students Against War.
Sunday 23rd September – 7pm – 11pm
Free Screen – Film Night
The first of our regular film nights.
Showing Osama – an Afghan film about life under the Taliban and Walkout – a drama based on anti-racist school struggles in 60s LA