The launch of the Yorkshire Anarchist Group was held on 6th February 2010 in Bradford’s 1in12 Club.
In what has become known as the “Bradford Manner” people were invited to take part in a gourmet meal. White table cloths, wine glasses, red and black serviettes, complimentary beer-mats, YAG badges and little black flags flying from the olive dishes. 19 bottles of red wine were consumed.
The meal was created and served by a catering collective taken from the para-military wing of Age Concern, Hebden Bridge Class War, The Cunningham Amendment and the 1in12 Club.
There were 34 covers with up to a dozen others dropping in and out. In all, maybe 45 people.
The meal was charged at £2 a head. A total of £87.45p was collected. A cheque for this amount goes towards YAG funds (Warren).
With typical Anarchist efficiency the meeting started dead-on 12 noon and finished at 2pm precisely. Apologies were recieved from Ian Bone (illness) and Warren Draper (late work commitment).
A roving mic was made avaialble. Diners invited to speak for ten miniutes on any relevant subject. Speakers were thanked with a toast and (sometimes) a cheer. A fair proportion of the speeches was taken up fascism and the plight of our Belgrade comrades.
Outcome? YAG is primarily a support group keeping members in touch and able to call on Yorkshire-wide support. Transparency is an absolute must (there was still criticism of holding the infamous Doncaster meeting during “workers” time). This doesn’t mean that individuals cannot meet but actions in YAG’s name should be put up for discussion.
The meeting agreed to support the Anarchist Book Fair in the 1in12 on 10th April and to keep an eye on 1in12’s plans for May Day.
Members to invited to l0g-on and make comment on the YAG blog advertised on the beer mat.
After the meeting closed many gathered in small groups where the discussions continued. One proposal I liked was that we should host the dinner as an annual event.
This was one of the best Anarchist meetings I personally have attended. Infinitely better to meet people face-on-face than in the cold type of cyberspace.
“Get Yourself Into Good Company” is the best advice that can be given to an Anarchist today. On your own you’re a dead duck.
The final toast was read from the beer mat:
“Here’s to Braver Better Times!”