Minutes: North East Peoples Assembly Planning Meeting 30th July


Tuesday 30 July, Bar Loco

You can find minutes from previous meetings here

24 people in attendance, Chair-person: Mark Tyers, Minute-taker: Jerry Drake

Apologies: Jonelle Atkinson, Jill Hislop, Tracey Tofield, Vince Lisle, Tony Dowling, Alex Snowdon, Councillor David Stockdale

Look out for ***Action points***

  • Mike reported on RMT Metro workers strike lasted an exceptional 2 weeks. They have offered to provide a speaker for the NE Peoples Assembly on 14 Sept. ***Please support their leafletting session outside Central Station, Thu 1 August from 9am.***
  • Ross reported that Saturday’s NE Bedroom Tax demonstration was attended by 150 people. Up to 1000 NE PAAA leaflets were handed out. More leaflets needed next time. RCG heckled Labour speakers. All present agreed that this was not acceptable behaviour and would not be tolerated at any future events.
  • Matthew and Mark reported that Slutwalk 2013 (the annual anti-sexism, anti-rape Newcastle march) was attended by 100 people and was a success. Lots of PAAA leaflets were handed out.
  • Thabo reported that Saturday’s Save the NHS demo in Darlington was a success and attended by 50 people.
  • Joan reported that in addition to the Northern Stage, 8 additional venues, ranging between 80 and 30 seats capacity, have been provisionally booked.

***Joan, Matthew, Ed, Mark, Alex and others to inspect venues and facilities on the afternoon of Tuesday 6 August and decide which ones to book***

  • Joan reported that the following venues will be providing catering on the day; Main stage bar, University bistro (open till the 6pm show, a cheaper option) and Student Unions MENS bar
  • Joan reported on the array of acts she had confirmed or approached for the 6pm Peoples Assembly show which will close the days proceedings and include muscians, opera singers, theatre acts and others. Joan will be the show compere.

***Matthew and Alex to investigate whether Owen Jones and Mark Steel will be available to speak during this show***

  • Joan reported that the EDL (English Disco Lovers) will potentially provide an after-party for the NE PAAA at World Headquarters in town.
  • Mark outlined the provisional timetable of the NE PAAA and a discussion was had concluding that;
  • Short description of workshops need to be provided.
  • ***Alex and Matthew to come up with online system for delegates to select their workshop sessions***
  • Additions were made to speaker lineup (see Appendix 1) and it was noted we need a young speaker(s) in the plenarys.

***Gary to sort out a Sunderland Anti-Facist Coalition speaker for the Racism, immigration and the cuts’ workshop***

  • ‘Tactics’ workshop renamed to ‘Fighting the cuts using creative tactics’ and moved to morning workshop slot by provisionally swapping it with the ‘Racism, immigration and the cuts’ workshop
  • Closing plenary to open with screening of ‘No Cuts’ (3 minute version) by Utter Legends
  • See Appendix 1 below for latest version of draft timeable of the NE PAAA
  • ***Alex to update Eventbrite page with latest draft timetable***
  • After considerable discussion it was decided that every workshop would lead to future actions by having;
    • i). a chair-person / facilitator
    • ii) provide more time for discussion and/or hands-on activities than speeches from the platform
    • iii) would come up with a list of action points which would be written down by the chair-person and handed into Matthew
    • iv) ***Matthew will compile a power-point presentation which will display each groups action-points on the big screen in the main-auditorium immeadietly before closing plenary and which will also feature on the NE Peoples Assembly blog***


– ***events to flyer***:

i) 10 August South Tyneside summer festival (Contact Matthew 07515 676 025) to help)

ii) 13 – 31 August Whitley Bay film festival (Contact Simon 0191 253 5029 and Joan 07743 920 359 to help)

iii) 25 August Newcastle Mela (contact Mark 07958635850 to help)

iv) 28 August Hands of Sunderland Libraries public meeting in Sunderland Minster (contact Gary 07881 656 064 to help)

v) Draining of City Pool (contact Joan 07743 920 359 to help)

vi) Flyering in Teeside and Stockton (contact Thabo 07950 969 812 or Norman 0191 209 054)

vii) Hospitals (contact Mike 07863 599 987 to help

viii) Community festivals (everyone to take flyers to their local ones)
– places that will take flyers (e.g. Northern Stage)
– postering ***people took away posters to put up locally***
– trade unions, trades councils and campaign groups (to be invited and asked for donations)

***Simon to update appeal letter***

***Simon and Ed to investigate getting local union reps to raise at branch meetings***

***Simon to ask RMT to circulate publicity***
– social media and internet ***everyone encouraged to promote NE PAAA on social media and email***
– local media ***Matthew to see if Spark TV will cover event***
– faith groups
– Labour Party and other political networks *** Matthew to invite local Labour party members***
– arts community ***Joan already sorting***


  • NE PAAA coach departs Newcastle Central station at 8am and returns in evening. Seats are £15 waged / £7 unwaged and must be paid for in advance.

– Ed reported that Newcastle City Unison branch are putting on 4 coaches, £5 waged, £3 unwaged. Anti-cuts network are putting on fundraising gig on 24 August to raise money for coaches

– Gary reported that Sunderland PAAA are putting on a coach

***Simon to sort out venue for coach coordinating meeting next week, time and day to be confirmed***


-Matthew reported that Owen Jones has called for national day of occupations of high-street loan sharks on 14 September (same day as Owen Jones will be speaking at NE PAAA)

*** Matthew to get in contact with Owen to say we in Newcastle will defer occupations to different day***

-Mass sleep-out for ‘No to Bedroom Tax’ campaign end of August.

6. NEXT MEETING – Tuesday 13 August, 6pm, Bar – Loco

7. Room Collection

£27.23 was raised, £10 of which was spent on venue-hire and £17.23 of which will be deposited in the COR Tyne and Wear bank account for future NE PAAA spending.



Saturday 14 September – Northern Stage, Newcastle


Northern Stage

10.30 -11.30AM – OPENING PLENARY

Northern Stage
– Chair-person: Tony Dowling

– Beth Farhat *
– Paul Clays (CWU)

– RMT speaker*


Alternatives to Austerity
– Chair-person:

– Clare Williams or Paul Gilroy *
A PCS speaker
– Michelle Zellers

Welfare not Warfare
– Chair-person: To be provided by Newcastle Stop the War Coalition

– Alex Snowdon, Newcastle STW *
– Nick Megoran, MLK Peace Committee *

Bedroom tax and the housing crisis
– Chair-person: Gail Ward*

– Cllr David Stockdale *

Fighting the cuts using creative tactics 
– Chair-person / facilitar: to be provided by ACN /NFEN*

– ACN speaker*
– NFEN speaker*

Art workshop 1: Song-writing and poster-making

– Facilitator: Phil Kitchen*

Phil Kitchen on song and performance poetry

Theresa Easton on sign and poster making

1.00PM – 2.00PM LUNCH


Reclaim our NHS
– Chair-person to be provided by KONP

– A Keep Our NHS Public speaker
– Trade union Health activist

Racism, immigration and the cuts
– Chair-person:

– Cllr Dipu Ahad *
– UAF speaker *

– Sunderland Anti-Facist Coalition speaker

Rebuilding trade unions
– Chair-person:

– A PCS speaker
– John Kelly (Tyne and Wear Unite Community branch)*

Education, cuts and the lost generation
– Chair-person:

– Lizi Gray, YFFJ *
– Amy Hunt, NUT regional officer *
– A local UCU Rep

Art workshop 2: Hardest Hit- dramatization and discussion of effects of austerity on individual lives (provisional, Joan is still waiting on confirmation from A. Nother) 

Facilitator: Joan Hewitt*


Northern Stage
– Starts with screening of ‘No Cuts’ (3 minute-edit)

– A young speaker

– Owen Jones *
– Karen Reay *
– Clare Williams or Paul Gilroy *
– Kathy Taylor
– Mark Steel*


Northern Stage

Compere: Joan Hewitt*


About farmerg13

22, Media Production Graduate (Sunderland Uni) from Hebburn, South Tyneside. North East Peoples Assembly and Coalition of Resistance Media & Communications Officer. Active in Hebburn South Labour Party. Admin of this blog, opinionated is putting it mildly. NUFC fan. Follow me @farmerg13
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