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European Assembly of Reclaim the Fields in the UK

Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of young people and collective projects willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production. It is determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real needs oriented small scale production and initiatives, putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles. If you are involved in this kind of projects and actions, it can be interesting to visit the next international Reclaim the Fields meeting in England. The text below comes from  the call for this meeting:

The goal of this meeting above all is to meet up to see where we are at with our European Reclaim the Fields constellation and to exchange information amongst the stars and local groups. It will be an occasion to put in practice new forms of organisation which have been decided upon at the last meeting (in Austria). As it will take place in the UK, we also want to create stronger links with people and collectives present there and exchange on local dynamics. This meeting will be a working and reflection space for local/regional groups and on themes present within RTF. As such it is mainly meant for people already active in the constellation, or which are aware/informed on the dynamics and last discussions of the network. But everybody is welcome!

When: Thursday 8 – Monday 12th of January 2015.
Where: Sumac Centre, Nottingham (blogs.xtreamlab.net/sumac/find-us/)
map: goo.gl/48jAjH

Thursday 8th – arrival, in the evening presentation of the different groups/collectives/people/stars of the RtF-constellation
Friday 9th – working groups and thematic debate
Saturday 10th – organisation of the camp and next meeting
Sunday 11th – writing up notes of the meeting, if needed more time for the working groups
Monday 12th – collective work at Sumac Centre
A detailed agenda proposal will be send before the meeting.
If you have any proposals or questions concerning the content please contact: contactrtf@riseup.net

Why there and why at that moment?
We choose to have this assembly in the UK to create more links with the UK and Scotland RTF groups who have been having regional meetings themselves. You can find out more about this here

We choose these dates (as besides our garden/farm activities might be more relaxed at this time a year) as it follows the Oxford Real Farming Conference (an alternative to an agro-business conference happening simultaneously) taking place just before the assembly in Oxford (UK) on 6th and 7th of January. The program you can find on oxfordrealfarmingconference.org.
All RtF-ers are very much invited to take part (take into account there is a participation fee of about 35 £).
The Landworkers Alliance (UK branch of Via-Campesina) is facilitating a whole day at this conference. Reclaim the fields UK and Europe as well as the newly formed Groundspring network (a new entrants to farming support group made up of organic, biodynamic apprentices and others wanting to make change and get into farming) are very much invited to share their experiences on how we can procreate changes to move agriculture forward.

Nottingham is right in the centre of the UK, accessible by affordable coaches and trains (from London, trains:the oxford tube and oxford express. Coach: the mega bus and national express. From oxford to Nottingham there will be a few lifts and some buses.
We are applying to a fund to try to cover travel costs. So please let us know when you would come and what your possible travel expenses may be. So if the fund gets through, great; if not we will try to help each other out -so anyone who wants to come, is able to do so!

Some websites to check international travels (keep in mind that advance booking lowers the costs!)
Megabus: uk.megabus.com (around 40 pounds single)
Eurostar: booking in advance now seems to cost 88 euros return from Paris: www.eurostar.com/fr-fr/calendar/londres…
IDbus: fr.idbus.com/fr
Eurolines (buses to london) : eurolines.com

Info about the host:
The Sumac Centre is a volunteer-run social and community centre based in Forest Fields in Nottingham. They host multiple radical & community groups and are run on non-hierarchical principles. They have a lot of indoor space available for the assembly and indoor accommodation at both the centre and at the Housing Cooperative across the road. They run on a sliding-scale basis. We will be able to access beds/floor space/showers & warmth in the winter!

Food from Veggies:
Veggies, a cooking collective based in this centre will organise the cooking and local food supply. They are a vegan cooking collective supporting campaigns for humans, other animals and the environment since 1984. Even so we will help with the cooking, and any produce that people want to bring is definitely appreciated!
We can connect with the multiple growing & food related radical projects in Nottingham (such as ecoworks.org.uk / summerwood.org.uk/).

Call-out for funding
At the last assembly in Austria, it was said that part of the ‘RtF-money’ would be used to pay for people’s travel costs in order to facilitate participation and as such lesson burden on people’s daily expenses. But we also said it would be great to not end up with no reserves, therefor it was asked to people, collectives and local groups to try to gather this amount so we can maintain the reserves. As such we want to use this invitation to ask you, if possible, to organise benefit dinners, parties, actions, and other inventive creations to try to gather these funds so we can be solidary with people that have less capacity to gather these.

*Please fill in this registration form to let us know that you are coming and if you are coming by car/van this is particularly useful as then we can organise lift/car sharing as much as possible.

«Reclaim The Seeds» invite you to bring your self produced seeds and all the pedagogical material that seems relevant, in order to swap seeds and discuss about it. [This is not the same Reclaim the Seeds as the collective organising the seed weekends in the Netherlands, although this group supports this event and call as well.]

Some more practicalities:
– ALCOHOL: there is a bar, when the bar is open, please use it, when its closed its ok to drink your own
– DOGS: we are still checking with Sumac Centre about their dog policy. If you want to come with a dog, please contact us before at contactrtf@riseup.net, so we can talk about it.
– KIDS: people with kids are welcome! We are trying to organise a special space for children at the meeting. If you plan on coming with kids, please contact us before contactrtf@riseup.net in order to talk about what you need there in order feel comfortable.
– LANGUAGES: thanks to the bla collective, there will be interpretation into three or four languages depending on the needs of the people present at the meeting.

If you have any questions concerning logistics or content of the meeting please contact contactrtf@riseup.net!

See you all there!

Some background on the last European meeting and general RtF-info
At the last European meeting in February 2014 in Nikitsch/Austria we worked on the functioning of the RtF-constellation. This is what came out:
We still understand RtF as an organizational constellation of stars which is in constant movement and process. Stars are persons, collectives or projects who/which share the RtFs values and relate themselves and their work to the RtF goals. The stars are organized and meet in local networks which are autonomous and have their own objectives. The local networks are the base of the RtF constellation since it is essential for RtF to work from the bottom up.
Apart from the local networks, there are seven working groups (website, bulletin, translation, finance, propaganda, infokiosk and a group organizing the next meeting). And five thematic groups (seeds, farm network, gender, access to land and presentation of RtF).

On the European level there are three different kinds of meetings:

* Functional meetings once a year during winter time. The objective is to get feedback from the working groups, plan the camp, get news from the local networks and have an exchange about what is happening in the different local contexts.

* Thematic meetings take place whenever people/local networks/working groups organize one. The idea is to work on specific topics. This can be for example a discussion of concepts, an exchange on agricultural techniques and knowledge or the support of a local struggle.

* European camps take place in summer and are bigger and take longer than the other meetings. The objective is to make RtF grow by „going to new places“, support local struggles and share skills, knowledge and ideas. The last two camps took place in Rosia Montana/Romania in 2011 and in Manheim/Germany in 2013. There is the proposal to do the next camp in 2015 in Chalkidiki/Greece.