The “Changing Hastings Together” public meeting on 11 November 2015 was a great success with about 70 people attending. The meeting was very different from the usual style of these events with the speeches kept short so that the main focus was on getting together and talking with each other (over pizza). The speakers from the Focus E15 Campaign were fantastic and they got a great reception from everyone in the hall.
Loulou summed up the evening in her speech: “This meeting is about finding the best ways to work together and about building networks of support and communication. So we all know what’s going on in our town. So we can amplify our struggles and make them more visible. So we know we can rely on each other. So that when we leave here we have started to build a way to change things. Together.” A large number of people stayed after the speeches and there were some really interesting ideas generated in the discussions and lots of new connections made between people and groups.
There was a good crowd – especially considering we were up against Noel Fielding, an exclusive film screening at the Observer Building and one of Hastings’ biggest union branch meetings – that’s not bad going. Thanks to all the speakers and everyone who helped with the meeting – from setting out the chairs to cooking the pizza to tidying up afterwards. It felt like a properly collective event.
We collected up the huge number of ideas and issues generated from the discussion and took them to our regular Hastings Solidarity meeting to see what we do next with them and these ideas will feed into our activity for the next few months.