The meeting was live streamed, you can see the full unedited video here (start at 19:25 to miss out a co-facilitator doing nothing for 20 minutes).
October 1st saw the first public meeting of cuts cafe, to discuss, explore and explain the project in more detail and to drum up excitement about things to come. A packed and diverse room of people from a wide range of groups and campaigns were in attendance, and at its height the meeting had more than one hundred participants.
There were a number of speakers including those from Uk Uncut, and the Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) groups who explained to the audience specifically what they were doing and also how this might tie into the cuts cafe. After that, a speaker from the Cuts Cafe group spoke to a now very excited audience about the variety of events the Cafe will be holding as well as the politics and ideas behind the space.
Following this, participants to the meeting were asked to discuss with others around them why they had decided to come, what they wanted from the space, and how the cuts effected them. This went on for around five minutes and the range of subjects and reasons was astounding. In the question and answer session that followed, as well as in people expressing their desires for what should happen in the space, we found a huge multitude of new an exciting ideas, that will greatly aid and benefit the space when it comes to opening day.
After this section of the meeting was finished members of the Cuts Cafe group, who represented different working groups, took it in turns to explain what the different working groups were, what they have done so far, and how new participants can get involved. Amongst the requests for help were the need for people with skills in running kitchens and childcare, people with video or writing skills, and people who can help give out flyers or put up posters in their community center, workplace etc. As the meeting finished, participants were invited to come and speak to representatives of different working groups and to get involved.
The whole meeting was hugely exciting, invigorating, and inspiring; and the Cuts Cafe group would like to thank everyone who came to the meeting and for all your new ideas, contributions and offers of help; we hope that these continue to come in as the opening day gets nearer and beyond.