MPA Second Public Meeting: Friend’s meeting house, Tuesday 19th August
The meeting began with an excellent film, made specifically for the meeting, of direct actions around the world. The film was made to inspire us in our future actions. This was followed by an important legal briefing from Simon Pook, of Lizar Solicitors, to inform protesters of their rights when faced with abuses of police powers.
In this second public meeting we were buoyant from the success of our launch meeting and had an ambitious agenda. There was some discussion on Kedem but clearly many people wanted to discuss further future strategy on Kedem. Better liasing with others involved in Palestine solidarity work in Manchester would have helped incorporate the wider group’s priorities as much as possible. The agenda was challenged at the meeting, and people had a chance to air opinions not covered by the agenda. However, it was noted by many in attendance that while some of the points made were valid that the aggression used towards the facilitators was excessive. In future a code of conduct will be established at the start of each meeting.
Points made were that the organisation needed more structure to make decisions and then open discussion of strategy would not be neglected or missed. As this is a large group that has organically come together quickly with a lot of ideas this process needs a little patience so we can achieve the chance for input for everyone leading to more effective actions and impact on Palestine in Manchester.
The next part of the meeting created working groups in the following areas: Media, Legal, Action organising, Fundraising, Education. These working groups will reconvene at the next meeting of MPA on Monday 1st of September at Friends Meeting House to focus on action.
MPA Organising Meeting, Friday 22nd of August
Structure was defined as non-hierarchical making decisions by consensus but empowering certain people and working groups with decision making on certain tasks. All future meetings will be publicly advertised via social media and the MPA email list. Mission statement was outlined as follows:
Manchester Palestine Action is a network of people in Manchester taking creative action against Israeli apartheid through BDS and other effective, participatory Palestine solidarity work
Our key principles are:
- Working to end all UK complicity in Israeli apartheid.
- Supporting the 2005 call out for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) from 170 Palestinian civic organisations.
- Working through creative action that raises awareness, educate the public, inspire the world and is above all effectively in create a real impact.
- Anti-racism, anti-fascism and a commitment to non-violence. We are not affiliated to any political party.
MPA Kedem Working Group Meeting, Monday 25th of August
A subsequent meeting discussed Kedem and it was decided that for the picket to continue daily, but this would be constantly reevaluated according to energy, numbers and effectiveness.