2015 Feb Gathering

Decisions made:

AGREEMENT: As Reclaim the Power, we will organise an event happening around 31 May contingent and linked to the response from the Lancashire working group and responses from other groups outside of Reclaim the Power. The event will incorporate social, economic and electoral issues. This could be another satellite event, solidarity or regional support.
AGREEMENT: Reclaim the Power agree to empower a working group to contact, discuss and coordinate with local Lancashire community groups on what’s happening in Lancashire including what they need and what would be the most helpful way to mobilise around the immediate threat of fracking in their area. This working group will also engage other groups and campaigning organisations around the issue including Frack Off, Earth First and Occupy.
AGREEMENT: Reclaim the Power will organise an action or event around the COP21 this year. The type and location of this event (e.g in the UK or Paris) has not been decided yet.
AGREEMENT: A small group is empowered to explore with Earth First and Frack Off on how we could work together this summer regarding their summer camp. That group would feed back into the national spokes system for Reclaim the Power.
AGREEMENT: Reclaim the Power will sign on to the international anti-fracking camp in the Basque Country this summer. A working group will look in more detail at what level of support can be offered.
AGREEMENT: Reclaim the Power will sign onto the anti-coal, climate action camp in the Rhineland 14th – 16th August. A working group will look in more detail at what level of support can be offered.
AGREEMENT: A ‘Spokes’ (meaning spokespersons of regional groups and working groups) meeting will take place in 4 weeks time, on Thursday 5th March, by skype, at 7pm, and a national gathering 2 weeks after that on Saturday 21 March in Leeds.

Sunday Minutes

Review session: Is Reclaim the Power living its values? (40 mins)

Small groups looked at six of the Strategic Objectives to see how well we are doing at implementing them. The following notes our suggestions to ourselves, rather than points of action agreed by consensus.

1- Working with other groups
Stop saying we’ll do stuff and not doing it – i.e over committing
Start doing more shared events.
Continue being welcoming and having cross representation from other groups within the group.

2. Challenge government policy and corporate and government power.
Stop engaging with govt policy on it’s own terms.
Start make spokes meetings more robust and ensure better communication.
Continue days of mass action that have a joint focus nationally.

3. Training Facilitators and making sure our spaces are safer
Stop violation of safer spaces policy online
Start including safer spaces to cover online and include regional group feed in on that.
Continue power and privilege workshops at every gathering and the plain english guide.

4. Make gatherings more reflective of wider society
Stop assuming a certain level of knowledge of people attending gatherings.
Start working with groups outside our network.
Continue working in solidarity with groups outside our network.

5. Positive solutions (not keen on wording)
Stop the binary of positive action and negative action, (fighting bad stuff is positive)
Start having more positive messaging expressing that notion of what we’re about
Continue living and working in horizontal and consensual ways.

6. We’ll have kids space and accessible venues
Stop giving empty promises- we don’t have a kids space.
Start providing childcare, shouts could go out wider if we want childcare.
Continue to aspire to openess and accessability.

Stop with the partially accessible venues. Start with hearing loops and ask if people have needs we can meet with things like signers etc. Continue looking after people.

Other announcements
There was a lunch time session with Ruth about how regional groups could act as nodes for action on Fuel Poverty, but without slipping into the role of service providers.

Activist Tat would like volunteers to help sort out the kit we left in a bit of a state after the last camp. Sunday 1st March in Nottingham. Food, accomodation and transport provided if up for it. Talk to Chan in Nottingham.

Discussing a Spring action camp

Summer EF gathering combo and German and Spanish Camps
Winter Paris UK or both?

In Lancashire we should respond to the local groups there when the call comes.

Yes we should absolutely follow Lancashire lead, but if commercial scale fracking happens in Lancashire happens we want to be there to respond with a program of rolling support and resistance. But if that doesn’t happen then we want to have something happening in London.

Should be a day of action or a convergence?

It’s going to kick off when COP21 fails and we can make our response to Cuadrilla in Lancashire a pre-tremor of that.

31st May – We want to baggsy the date, because that will automatically link to COP21, because it’s the date of decentralised days of action on climate across Europe and it’s also post-election.

Our plans could be similar to 2013, where we made a plan to go to West Burton and then we went to Balcombe when it kicked off. That is, we could plan something around 31st May and then switch to Lancashire if planning permission is granted to Cuadrilla.

There was some energy in the room to respond to Lancashire when the time comes.

The Nanas have expressed a strong desire to know that we’re planning for this. They will also have strong Green party involvement.

Are we talking about a Weekend mini-camp? Perhaps it could be a fracking target with a link to the COP21 process?

We’re not planning around the Lancashire decision. Were planning around the Lancashire implementation.

Planning for two very different things will be too hard. Maybe plan a weekend thing for Lancashire and if it doesn’t happen we could support Yorkshire communuties instead.

Don’t think we can link with UK Uncut if we are fixed on going to Lancashire.

There will be a month to work out where we’re going if the Lancashire decision happens in 30th April.

Have a camp somewhere and then have a day of action scattergun that could include a big 6 target in collaboration with other groups. We can wieve in COP21 as a thread in our messaging we don’t have to act on it.

Spectrum lines:
1. Energy to organise something for the 31st May?

There was a bit of a drift on the spectrum line around the length of the camp but the majority seem to be thinking long weekend.

Do we got to Lancashire if it’s happening?
It’s their front line for symbolic and practical reasons, it is there hot spot it’ll have a wider strategic impact.

2. Fracking focus vs. broader focus? Spectrum line: – pretty evenly spread, left, middle and right.

Other environmental stuff we can do in solidarity / taking a banner etc. But we are committed to fracking and people are depending on us to honour that.
Fracking is a symptom of what is wrong with democracy etc. – it’s probable that we will stop fracking, there’s a danger that we become irrelevant.
Still feel like we can do a weekend event with a mass day of action etc. but the weekend has an overriding focus on fracking but the day of action can bring together people on different issues.

3. Buildings or tents? Spectrum line: Just more towards tents, but fairly evenly spread.

Urban environments are more accessible
We need to get used to living in nature / be more hardy.
The police are good are controlling urban environments – less so in rural environments.
The national policing strategy is around a large rural camp.

Earthfirst Camp agreement:

Points from working groups from night before:
Review our capacity and Earthfirst’s capacity
Think broadly they would be interested – but need to hear back from them.
Meeting in Bristol on the 28th Feb to discuss this.
Points from floor: going to EF and going to approach them and saying, what you are doing is great – ‘what would you like us to do?’ – STRONG support in the room
Isn’t it two-way learning?
Test for consensus: a small group is empowered to explore with EF and FO how we work together this summer
Comments: we must do this with humility / exploring two-way learning
offering support rather than assuming that we know how best to link in
identity is important – those involved need to know how they are different
We need to remember that this is different between Frack Off and EF, and understand the differences between them as we approach this collaboration.
Capacity concern: quite a lot of energy for something in the Spring. There are ways to make the EF collaboration in a low capacity way and it works well – eg. To have an action at the end of the EF camp. Commitment to join during the camp but a one-day action could work well at the end of it.
Disagreement to a small group exploring how we work together? No.
Active agreement? Yes.

AGREEMENT MADE: A small group is empowered to explore with EF and FO how we would work together this summer and that group would feed back into the national spokes system:
Names so far: May, Lorraine, Rachel, Elliot, Paul – brief get together over lunch / swap emails.
Lorraine/Elliot is taking the paper and typing up / sending first email

Working in solidarity with international camps
AGREEMENT: RtP are happy to put their names to this camp and support it
The Basque country camp in Spain in the summer – AGREED
Who is interested in being part of that working group / taking that forward:
Liz, Hannah, Mel, Rachel (possible), Riley, Claire, May, Paddy, May (possibly)
Claire will end up with the piece of paper / sending the first email
AGREEMENT: RtP are happy to put their names to this camp and support it
German camp: AGREED
Who is interested in being the link / person – Claire
Proposal: the COP group could be an international solidarity group?
Proposal withdrawn: COP group will have too much work and those groups should be separate

COP Plans – for Paris this September

Three proposals refering to COP21 in Paris in December 2015.
ONE: We incorporate the COP into our narrative and strategy for the year
COP21 working group can come with some very clear points to the next national gathering
We want to look beyond Paris but we see it as an opportunity to take centralised / decentralised action
COP 21 working group come up with a proposed narrative for next gathering.
The real change is happening here in our communities, not in those conference rooms.
TWO: we mobilize people to go to Paris and organise transport for them to get there
THREE: Bristol group and winter working group proposal: we plan action for post-Paris in the UK after the talks have potentially
Empower a group to work out:
Stance / messaging and how we would integrate that into our strategy and narrative
Action in the UK post Paris talk
AGREEMENT: We are going to organise some form of action / organise around the COP in Paris (in the UK / in Paris / messaging etc.)
Rough indication.
Lots of undecided. Some strong opinions.

After Lunch



Robbie and Dom were the Finance working group for 2 years and are handing over to Molly and Dave shakespeare

New finance WG propose:

to have a breakdown of prev year finances
to forecast for following year
to explain where money comes from with respect for donor anonymity
that every WG will have a finance person to liaise with finance WG – money spent in that group goes through that person.
To Acknowledge that sometimes spending cant be explicit but will give as much detail as possible.
That we need to trust the finance group.
That the finance group keep records but wont be shared unless a problem occurs.

Clarifying question:

Q: why is there secrecy?

A: Camps on squatted sites means organisation needs to happen secretly – this might involve costs – site take details/records cant be shared. We don’t want to implicate anyone in this. But as far as possible we will be transparent.

The group agreed.

Recognition for Robbie and Dom for their hard work last 2 years and welcome Molly and Dave.

Gatherings group

Request for further recruitment – 2 people are stepping back in immediate future.

Hannah and Robbie describe what the gatherings group are involved in.

administration of online communications
strategic admin that affects strategic direction (including things that slip through the gaps)
organising gatherings
typing minutes
uploading docs , minutes, etc
planning programmes for gatherings
comms re gatherings

etc etc (hannah has a description that could be inserted here)

2 groups formed at end of blackpool and agreed at spokes gatherings

outreach and participation including web and social media*

*this includes reaching out to communities and getting folk involved in ways other than online – hannah agrees that it should include this but there isn’t enough capacity as only 2 people are currently doing gatherings work
The following people agreed to get involved in the Gatherings working group:

Conor W
James Farndon
Hannah Faye M (Leeds)
Rachel (Manchester)
Chris S

It was agreed that there would be a cull of the emails /names of people who were currently signed up to basecamp as part of working groups but who were not responding to basecamp emails and had turned off their notifications and were not currently active in their working group. This was caveated with – these people may sign up again and return to both the working groups and or basecamp at a later date if they wished.

The following people agreed to be involved in the Participation and outreach WG going forwards:

Hannah Faye

The following people agreed to be involved in the Web site WG going forwards:

Conor S
Tom B
Chris S

The following people agreed to get involved in the anti-oppression WG going forwards:

Conor W

Spokes system:

Rachel from Manchester outlined the agreed proposal for how the regional spokes would organise going forwards:

(this proposal is long and rachel could insert the text here)

(It was agreed by regional spokes at spokes gathering)

Spring Discussion continued – outlining proposals

Proposal 1: (‘the fracking or wider issues’ group)
Set up WG to look at an action around social and economic issues – wont just be promoting other peoples campaigns – will tie in to fracking and outcome of lancashire etc – but will focus on a wider social justice issue.


Proposal 2: (‘Lancashire or not’ group)
Forming a WG to talk to local groups and find out how we can work to support them.
Led by local groups, RTP organise around Lancs

Q: Is this working group tied to 31 May event conversation?

A: It depends on results from cuadrilla planning application. The proposal doesn’t consider May – this to be approached later as a separate question.

There was general support for the idea that if Lancashire needs support, that’s where our focus should be.


– We should be aware of how RTP are perceived by communities. The communities lead the resistance to fracking, we support them. The group working on Lancs agreed.

We can’t deliver 31 may action/ convergence unless we meet again.
Lets ask all anti-fracking groups whats going on
Direct Response – we don’t need to as there are few of us who know and we can stay updated through these channels.
Q: Is it wise to leave it 1 month between when the Lancs decision is made and when we are thinking of doing an event on 31 May? Shouldn’t we be there to immediately respond?
We aren’t the only group responding to fracking in lancs, locals are amazing, we’re just a tiny blip in their activity – wider agreement in group
we can both support the lancs locals plus work more broadly in anti-fracking actions, we can do both.
Be a swat team – just respond to what people need, work out logistics when you get there – lets just continue supporting Lancashire residents.
May initiative should be a mobilising event – help with ongoing anti-fracking work in both Lancashire and other parts of the country. Set the date as a mobilising day – skill and kit people up and get them on same page with skills and info people need – perhaps 1 or 2 or more places.
Remember we are passionate and react in organic way, some folk will make it happen regardless.

Testing proposals

Proposal 1.
RTP agree to empower the WG to go ahead and contact, discuss, coordinate with local community people on whats happening in lancashire, what they need, what would be the most helpful way to mobilise around the issue – also to engage other groups and campaigning organisations around the issue including Frack Off, Earth First and Occupy.

Clarification – we need to assume the backing from RTP that we will mobilise behind the outcome of that work.

P: can we bring COP21 messages to this anti- fracking work?
A: The COP21 WG will propose how the messaging their worked up will inform or interface with the other 2 proposals?

P: in that case, can we remember the wider CLIMATE messages around our actions if not COP21?

NB: 31 May is not a relevant date for this decision – agreed.

No disagreements

Consensus reached. (for proposal 1 above)

Proposal 2.
As RTP we will organise an event happening around 31 May contingent and linked to the response from Lancashire working group. and remit and decision and responses from other groups. The event will also incorporate social, economic and electoral issues. This could be another satellite event, solidarity or regional support.

NB: discuss COP21 in our messages – these are to be incorporated once the COP21 WG has refined and proposed them to the national gathering to be ratified. We aren’t pretending COP21 isn’t happening, as part of the wider social economic issues the COP is part of narrative. – Agreed.

This Social and Economic working group would broaden out our framework beyond fracking and into other ‘joined up dots’ issues. If this was a day of action, multiple things might be happening on this day. (mass action?)
Can we agree on whether we want to do an event on 31 may – (yes, wide agreement in room)
We seem to keep setting up working groups to work on specific parts of project – this isn’t historically how we organise, lets not set up separate Wgs and find a way to organise together – lets not fragment ourselves too much

No Blocks

Stand asides x 5

“Depending on decision with Lancs county council, quite a few people will head there but they need a lot of people to do that”

“Depending on Lancs council decision – doesn’t make sense to have the action set in stone on 31 May.”

“Feels like we’ve given up something we’re really good at for an event, so not sure thats a good idea. But happy for it to go ahead”

Active Consensus

(5 people in room not waving hands in consensus – 4 of which were the original stand asides)

Who can work on proposal 1? The following people agreed to form a Working Group around the Lancashire conversation and organisation agreed in Proposal 1

Ruth, Lottie, Ben, Lorraine

An Economic and Social working group was also set up.


We shouldn’t ask a separate group to head out – this must be the thing we do together.
What about Research? Can’t a WG go ahead and research a proposal and bring this back to the national group? (wide agreement in the room)
Can we bring thought-through proposals online and in advance to prepare us and save time.
We need a national gathering – this wont work through the spokes process – given the time frame we have.

Proposal for national gathering in 6 weeks time in Leeds? (Very wide support in the room).

Counter proposal – we should be organising regionally – we shouldn’t have to use urgency as a reason to keep having national gatherings.

Third proposal to combine both –
We can have a regional spokes meeting on skype in 4 weeks and then a national gathering in leeds

National gatherings are tiring processes and we don’t all need to go through this process if we use the regional groups process – its less work and stress involved in hosting regional gathering.

Spectrum Triangle:
Question: Do we need a spokes meeting OR a national gathering OR combination?

Spokes – one third support
National Gathering only – few people support.
Combination – two third suppport

In favour of combo
– Combination is a good idea because some people work better face to face
– There might develop an informal / invisible hierarchy from the spokes system.
National gathering enables us to make commitments and work fast enough.
in favour of spokes
We wont have the proposals worked up in time for the national gathering so it needs to have the content discussed first in a spokes meeting on 4 weeks time.

Spokes meeting to take place in 4 weeks time and a national gathering 2 weeks after that on the 21 March in Leeds.


Blocks – almost 1 but registered as stand aside

“To organise nationally and not build up structures in regions and in working groups can be crushing, repeating nightmares of the past. We are not strengthening our movement by falling back to the history of many months spent in long and energy sapping, time consuming national gatherings,
We love horizontalists but afraid of hidden hierarchies and the regional spokes system blasts that open and we can work through this problem using this system.”

Stand asides: x 5

“agree with the stand aside but this needs to be addressed and we don’t have the time now. Needs to be addressed at the next gathering – we need the time on the agenda.”

“Not fully standing aside – will help with Leeds gathering BUT jaded from last years , coming to national gatherings, months and months of work and we need to get to a stage where we can build strong regional groups and we are missing a trick by fudging it again”

“Problems with regional groups and spokes systems, not sure why this is a problem, if there are only 3 people in a regional group then just invite them all to the spokes meetings? “

“I’d probably not come to a national gathering and just come to spokes, “

Q: should we be working harder on a spokes system?
A: Got consensus in the room.

Testing for consensus on the proposal: Agreed.

(NB: around 6 or 7 hands in the room were not waving in active consensus – facilitator called it consensus and 5 of those hands were those that or stood aside.)


We will discuss not having national gatherings in the next agenda as we have no time now and need to explore this depth.

Anyone interested in developing regional groups and regional spokes systems – please contact Tom Barlow.

We re-capped and celebrated the decisions made and numbers of people who have joined working groups this weekend!