We took part in a series of workshops and had the chance to meet and communicate with other fossil free movements are around the country that helped us reflect on our campaign and inspire us to work even harder for full, unconditional divestment. Workshops centred around the existing People and Planet fossil free and sweatshop free campaigns. It became apparent that increasingly universities are deciding to only partially divest, and stop short of full divestment from unethical oil and gas companies. This is a scenario that we wish to avoid at Sheffield if possible, and it is something that we should be aware of over the coming months as we approach the climax of our campaign.
Moreover, there were workshops on oppression and privilege; something we feel we should focus on on a larger level in our own People and Planet community to foster a more welcoming, safer space. In addition, there were media workshops with the Guardian that helped us realize previous mistakes in dealing with the media, and exciting non-violent protest techniques that we feel confident to utilise should the need arise.
Plans for the future of People and Planet were also made:
- A democratic process elected a new migrant rights campaign starting from 2016 onwards.
- Discussions were also had regarding the Paris climate talks in December that echo some that have taken place in Sheffield about going to Paris to protest.
- On the 7th October a co-ordinated day of action across national People and Planet groups concerning the sweatshop free campaign has also been planned.
- Talks were also had between regional People and Planet groups for collaboration that are very encouraging.
- However the future of People and Planet is a little unclear at the moment as a result of funding cuts, so if you feel like donating and keeping the network going then please visit: peopleandplanet.org/fanclub.
Much fun was also had, with every evening playing host to a bonfire and diverse activities. These included a disco, a ceilidh and a talent show. Notably the talent show prizes were cabbages which resulted in a weekend of cabbage chanting whenever a positive thing was said or done. We sincerely hope cabbage chanting becomes a staple of the activist scene.