Span That World: The DF Web
We also need people to stand for roles. To stand all you need to do is be a DF with up to date Woodcraft Folk membership and fill in the form at the bottom of this page. You don’t have to come to Althing to stand, nor do you need any experience or cash. Any DF is welcome to stand.
Here’s a bit of information about all the roles. To find out more you can click on the page of the relevant role or talk to the person who currently has that role. If you get voted in you’ll have a month or so to get all the info you can from the old Rep and you get to come to Old/New, our changeover event.Communications Rep
Committee Role, Two years
The comms rep is responsible for all DF Communications. Find out more by reading the Comms changeover pack.
Committee Role, Two Years
Keep minutes of all DF business and make sure we do it all right and don’t forget anything.
Committee Role, Two years
You keep the DF Movement connected to other similar organisations, helping us work together for our shared goals.
Committee Role, Two years
Each new Campaign comes with a new Campaigns rep. Your role will vary depending on what the campaign is. Campaigns rep manages the main campaign of the DF Movement and helps DFs with any other campaigning they’re interested in.
Committe Role, Two years
Manager of MEST-UP. You make sure it all runs smoothly at events and elsewhere. Try to develop MEST-UP to reach even more people in more ways.
Consideration for Chair of DF Committee
Chair of DF Committee isn’t elected by Althing. At Althing, whoever fancies standing for Chair of DF Committee needs to have the approval of Althing to be on Committee. They hust to the floor and anyone over RON will go one to be considered by the new DF Committee. As with all roles, if no one is able to fill them Committee is able to coopt someone.
If elected by DF Committee this is a Committee Role, one year.
Committee Role, Two years
Laymembers sit on DF Committee but have no specific role. Their job is to help out with anything that doesn’t fit into another area and take on jobs that other DFs don’t have time for. They provide a unique perspective on what DFs should be doing, as they aren’t focused on any specific area.
Committee Role, One year
To stand for this role you must have treasuring training and experience with DF finances.
Committee Role, One year
Become trained in treasuring and gain experience with DF finances by shadowing the current treasurer.
Other Role, One year
The role of Zine Editor is to manage the submissions, editing, and publication of the DF Zine. For every zine, submissions must be sent in by the movement (usually around a theme), compiled, edited, laid out, and published. The published copies are usually then sent out with the courier but can be sent out on their own if needs be. The zine editor has a budget to spend over the year, and can choose how many publications to make (3/4 is best). To allow for some time to create a first zine, it is best if editor of the previous year publishes one late summer/early autumn. A zine editor needs to be creative, and interested in both design and content, although needn’t be the one creating either. That being said, it is very useful to have a good understanding of how to use adobe indesign, or other design software, and be willing to write as well.
Venturer Committee Liaison
Other Role, One year
The venturer committee liaison role is all about supporting Venturer Committee and acting as a link between them and the DF Movement. This means going to all Venturer Committee meetings, helping Venturer Committee get on with their actions, helping them get in touch with any members of DF Committee, being able to provide information about DFs, and keeping DFs/DF committee informed about what Venturer Committee is up to. It’s a great role, because Venturer Committee do really interesting stuff and achieve lots!
First Aid Rep
Other Role, One Year
Make sure all DF events have enough First Aiders. Arrange rotas for First Aiders on events. Organise training for more First Aiders. Keep a log of all serious incidents and make sure they are reported to the right people. Help event teams with parks of their Risk Assessments.
Workers Beer Rep
Must be over 18, Other Role, One year
Arrange the Workers beer places for that year. You get to guarantee yourself a place at your fave festival.
Other Role, One year
A fairly high level of technical skill is required for this role. The Webfairy is responsible for making sure spanthatworld.com and the Committee emails are working properly. They work closely with the Comms rep to make sure all DF online communication is running smoothly.
Fill in this form to Nominate someone/yourself Loading…
International Opportunity Alert!
What? Summerschool on Gender and Feminism
When? 24th -31st August 2014
Where? “Kurt Löwenstein” Education Centre in Werftpfuhl, 30km outside Berlin
How much? No more than 75€ (£60), with the possibility for help with travel expenses
How do I register? https://kurtloewenstein.wufoo.com/forms/seminar-registration-forms/
Registration deadline: 31st July
More Info: During the Summerschool we will analyse our society, why woman and man are still not equal in our society and how gender roles are reproduced by society, which is maybe one of the reasons, why it is so difficult to overcome them. We will have as well a look into our own organisation and explore how they need to be changed to overcome male domination, which we are unfortunately often face even in our own organisations. We are aiming during summerschool to develop methods and tools to achieve gender equality in our organisation and which might help us as well in our societies.
Green and Black Cross, an organisation of legal observers (not to be confused with the tea), are running Legal Observer Training in London on 5th July and in Bristol on 6th July.
Legal observers are present at protests and demonstrations, where they keep a record of what happens, mainly between protesters and police. They are often seen wearing neon tabards and sporting notepads and cameras.
This is a standard, comprehensive Legal Observer training, and will cover the following:
- Police Tactics
- Stop & Search law and procedure
- How to support arrests
- Police ranks and command structure
- Supporting direct action
- How best to legally support activists and nail the inappropriate policing afterwards
The London training on 5th July is held from 12 – 5pm. The exact location is available upon request. The time and location for the Bristol training has not been announced yet.
Email email@example.com to register for the training, or simply turn up on the day. The training is completely free.
We’re offering up to 10 DFs free travel to Summer Gathering (13 – 21st June); a week-long bonanza of activism workshops, training, and socialising with other like-minded young people.
You’ll get to visit Grow Heathrow, the camp of activists opposed to the expansion of Heathrow, and learn about ways to tackle climate change and social justice issues. Here’s the full programme, it looks awesome: http://peopleandplanet.org/dl/summergathering2014programme.pdf
It’s the most anticipated event on the young activist’s calender (after DF Camp of course!), so make sure you’re there! There’ll even be campfires to match those at Woodcraft.
All of this is hosted by the wonderful folks from People & Planet. Under 18s are welcome at the event.
It’s £38 for the whole week, £35 for the weekend, and £15 for a day ticket – including food, accommodation, and travel between sites while at the event (so it’s mega cheap).
BOOK HERE: http://peopleandplanet.org/summer-gathering
To claim your free travel, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your travel tickets. It’s really that easy!
Do you have ideas?
Are you confused?
Do you want to know more about how it all works?
Are you contemplative?
Do you have something you want to change? Come along to Althing this year and…
We are opening the doors to motions now! But what IS Althing?
It’s only the most important event of the District Fellows Movement. The most dynamic and exhilarating democratic event in Woodcraft Folk and certainly the most potent gathering of young minds this side of the millennium! Althing is when we choose our campaigns, where we elect our committees, when we choose a Zine editor, when we scheme and plan the shape of the movement, when we make every big decision for a the coming year and beyond. It’s like an AGM but a million times more engaging, varied and fun. It’s more than a meeting – it’s a celebration of our work and an opportunity to really get to know one another! And you can be part of it!And how does it work?
Every member of The District Fellows Movement who comes to Althing has an equal right to get their voice heard and to cast their vote on motions that can radically change the way we tick. Members can also stand for a host of key roles in the movement on DF Committee, Regional Council, Zine editor and so on. Finally anybody can bring Motions or Musings for discussion at Althing that can alter our direction, policies, events and well literally everything!Okay, that sounds interesting…
But what is a Motion?
Motions are fresh ideas or new ways of doing things. Anybody can submit a motion or change (amend) someone else’s. At Althing we thrash out the ideas in the motion and decide whether to move forwards with its suggestions or not. Good motions are clear and specific, they do small things like make a national dress up day for DFs or huge things like make DFs a separate charity to Woodcraft Folk. It’s easy to submit a motion just fill in the ‘form’ below!But what if I’m not sure how to change the thing I want to change?
That’s where musings come in! Musings are different to Motions. With a Motion you have to have a specific solution or idea in mind for how to move forward. Somtimes the idea is great but the way you wrote it down doesn’t quite wash and the idea is lost. With a musing you submit a carefully worded issue that you want to address but are unsure how best to do so. At Althing we have a collaborative discussion using consensus to generate a way forward without getting hung up on grammar and word choice. Submitting a Musing is exactly the same as submitting a motion.Why should I send one in?
If you’ve got something you want to change/discuss fill in the form below!
Any questions email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
DF CAMP 2014 BOOKINGS ARE OPEN!
This years DF camp is exploring the strangest part of your imagination – your subconscious! We’ll be discovering your darkest fears and most crazy aspirations. There will be workshops and fancy dress on the extravagant theme of dreams and we’re planning to transform the site to take you out of this mundane world into a land where anything is possible!
Delicious food, DF friends, creativity, music and dancing, fun, sun, bands and djs, all in the gorgeous North Yorkshire dalse!
WHEN? Wednesday 30th July – Wednesday 6th August
WHERE? Giggleswick, North Yorkshire. 1 hour on the train from Leeds.
WHAT? A week of workshops, friends, music, fancy dress, debate, bands, creativity, djs, dancing, sun and fun in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.
HOW MUCH? £75 including fairer fare
WHY? You’d be mad not to!!!
Workshops and evening programme to be announced soon!
Promo video is in the wings, to get you even more exited!
TRAVEL As the camp starts and ends on a Wednesday we recommend that you make use of the Megabus Wednesday deal – £5 each way between any two UK cities! Book tickets to Leeds, from there a train will take you to Giggleswick and you’ll be a 5 minute walk from the site. If you don’t fancy the bus, book train tickets straight to Giggleswick. Get booking soon to make fairer fare even fairer!
Want to run a workshop? Know a northern band who you think we’d enjoy?
Email any suggestions to email@example.com
To book simply fill in the form below!
Blue Skies see you in July!
Want the opportunity to be a trustee of The British Youth Council?
The British Youth Council (BYC) is looking for people aged 16-25 who are motivated by a belief in the work of BYC to achieve our vision of a world where all young people are respected and able to influence and inform decisions that affect their lives or on which they have strong opinions.
BYC really is governed by young people for young people. Our board of trustees is made up of 13 people elected by delegates from our members. The board not only sets the strategic direction of the organisation and monitors progress, they shape our activities and act as ambassadors and spokespeople for BYC in the media and elsewhere.
While your first goal as a trustee is to serve your peers and BYC, it is also a way to build your experience and networks, develop a broad range of skills and help shape the future of a world where all young people have a say and are heard.
We would encourage all ages to apply bringing both representation of those we serve alongside experience of governance. BYC needs a diverse, inclusive spread of ages and talents.
We’ve put together a pack containing more information. Take a look at it here.
Click here to apply online.
The deadline for applications is Friday 16th May 2014 at 11.59pm, so be quick!
For further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This workshop was designed for the NCS programme that Woodcraft Folk delivered in Summer 2013, and includes three activities to introduce people to democratic processes and engage them with decision-making for the first time.
Download here: Democracy workshop
Last week, Liam Hardy argued that expressive voting is the best way to achieve your political ideals, and why he would be voting Green. Today, Alec Mezzetti, the DF Zine editor, explains why every vote is tactical, and that he’ll be voting tactically to get the most powerful political result, and because he feels a moral duty to protect those most vulnerable to the policies of his least favourite party.
To really be able to debate the question of tactical voting, the term must first be defined. We usually only think of voting as tactical when it involves voting for a party that is not the voter’s first choice. But this definition does not really capture what I see as the underlying debate. This debate is between voting on principles and voting with a view to a specific outcome. How much someone is willing to compromise their views in return for a real say in who governs the country.
This distinction is important because I believe that we all have to position ourselves somewhere on this scale. No party will ever represent you entirely, and by choosing to vote for any party, we are making a compromise. The only real way of having your exact opinion represented is to stand yourself.
To demonstrate this I will use the same example as used in the previous article, the Green Party. Say you are a Green Party voter, presumably there is at least one issue you disagree with the Party on. If a new Party decided to stand in your constituency with the exact same manifesto as the Greens, without that specific issue you had with it. Would you vote for them? Knowing they would potentially split the Green vote, had no chance of overtaking the Greens, and had no national representation. Sticking with the Greens would represent a very small ‘tactical’ compromise, but one that I would say would be unreasonable not to make.
Equally, many of the actually opposition to tactical voting do so for tactical reasons. The Green Party know that if less Labour voters voted tactically, they would get more votes.
By now I hope I have established that the distinction between a ‘tactical’ vote and a ‘not-tactical’ vote is a false one, and in reality everyone has to draw a balance between voting with their principles and voting with a view of the outcome. With that in mind, for ease of use I will use these terms from now on.
Another one of the major arguments against tactical voting is ‘I couldn’t vote for the …… Party after they did …..’. While I can sympathise with the sentiment, I think this gives an undue advantage to parties that have not been in a position of power. It also doesn’t ring that true with me as parties themselves are not consistent entities. They are names under which individuals stand for election, campaign, and vote. Not only does an unforgiving position not accept that Parties can change, but it actually discourages them to do so.
So, thats how I feel about the counter arguments, but why should you vote tactically?
Personally I see voting a duty to those less fortunate than me. As a middle class, white, straight, non-disabled male, there really isn’t much about an opposing party that could threaten me. This gives me the privileged position to vote without a great fear of the consequences. For someone in my position to condemn those who vote with a real justified fear of the consequences, for a party that is not entirely aligned with their principles, would be terribly unfair. Who cares if I was able to made my principles heard clearly if my actions actively contributed to the election of a government that makes the lives of those less fortunate than me worse? Personally, I would vote Lib Dem in a constituency where they were the only valid opposition to the Tories (if that were ever to happen again). Hell, I would vote conservative if I lived in some nightmare dystopian future when the only possible outcomes were them or UKIP.
Not only do I think that people, especially those in positions of privilege, have a duty to vote with a view for an outcome, but I think it could actually improve the larger parties. Let’s use the example of the Labour Party and the Green Party once more. In the 2010 general election the Greens received less than 1% of the national vote. If they received an enormous amount more in the next, and grew to 10%, most of the extra votes coming from Labour, how would this affect politics for the left wing? For a start, Labour would have no chance of winning an election, this would ensure years more of right-wing government. Secondly, with the left of Labour now voting Green, the Labour Party would be far less left wing, and move to a more centrist position.
So, what do I believe that someone looking for an electable, left-wing party do? Vote for Labour. This would make Labour stronger and more left wing for the same reasons as leaving Labour would do the opposite.
The long and the short of it is that our voting system is not proportional. While there is no perfect system for election, ours happens to massively increase the damage that a split left would mean. It’s unfortunate, but in the mean time, your vote does matter, it will change peoples lives, please don’t throw it away, vote tactically.
NB: EU elections on the 22nd May are done under Proportional Representation.
Disagree? How will you choose your vote? Who will you choose? Get in touch at email@example.com to submit an article, video or other contribution of your own.
Do you have something you want to change about DFs?
Do you want to experience wonderful consensus decision making?
Do you want to voice your opinion and feel empowered?
Do you ant to know more about what’s going on with DFs?
Then YOU should come to Midlands Thing 2014!
‘Things’ are DFs business events. They happen three times a year in various regions of the country. Things are a chance for us to discuss what’s going on with DFs, keep things running smoothly, MAKE STUFF HAPPEN, get excited and enthused about the District Fellows movement!
You don’t have to be from the Midlands to attend Midlands Thing, DFs from all over the country are welcome to come to debate, discuss and deliberate.
If it’s your first Thing then it’s totally FREE! Otherwise it’ll cost you £10.
Unless you are a committee member or event coordinator. OR you feel you are doing something exciting for the DF movement that needs discussing. If you think you are one of these people who deservers an expensed place at Scottish Thing then email firstname.lastname@example.org with what you want to bring to the meeting.
Midlands Thing will be from the 11-13 July
Windmill, Vale Street, Dudley
Book trains to Tipton ASAP if you are planning to attend. ( there is no fairer fare for this event)
To Book simply fill in the booking form below.
If there is anything that you feel needs to be discussed, or you want to add to the agenda then please email suggestions to email@example.com
SEE YOU THERE!
In our second instalment of political posts in the run-up to the May elections, kinsfolk Liam Hardy responds to Saskia’s advocacy for grubby political compromises by arguing against tactical voting (and why the Greens are a good option for expressive votes)Last week I went to a talk by green activist and Guardian columnist George Monbiot. You know him, right? He’s the guy who wants to get rid of all of Britain’s sheep and “re-wild” the countryside, including reintroducing wolves into the Scottish highlands. I already knew he was a fairly sensible, interesting and impressive guy, but his talk really blew me away. If I could, I’d vote for him to be Prime Minister without a second thought. Speaking of voting, there were two really big things that I took away from the talk, and I’d like to share them with you. Hopefully this can follow on from Saskia’s excellent piece about why you should vote – incidentally, when I met Nick Clegg at his constituency office a few weeks ago, he gave the same, very clear arguments – we (young people) need to vote, otherwise politicians will never take our issues seriously. In the last 4 UK elections, 20% of voters did not vote for their first preference ***Why you should not vote tactically*** One of the main themes of George’s talk was to discuss how to promote the green agenda. He said, very convincingly and with some references to well respected political studies, that playing by your enemies rules is not the way forward. We should not put a price on nature, in order to convince huge corporations that ancient woodland is more valuable than a new motorway service station (http://bit.ly/1n5IPrN). We cannot win with that tactic. Nor should we spend valuable time and effort trying to convince politicians at the other end of the spectrum to adopt our views and policies. There’s a reason they sit at the other end of the spectrum! Nor should we spend valuable time and effort trying to convince the general public who generally sit at the other end of the general political spectrum to vote for us, or our preferred leaders. They’ve already grown up adopting extrinsic values (vanity, wealth, self image), and have been brainwashed by the right-wing media. They will not sway. Instead, we, those who have grown up with stronger intrinsic values (love, happiness, compassion), must stand together, and shout at the absolute top of our voices, THIS IS WHAT WE BELIEVE IN (and this is why you should believe it to). We should not shout at our enemies. They don’t care. We should speak with the masses who are in the middle ground. They can be swayed. We should not let our ideals, principles and policies be watered down, and pandered to the other side, so that all the options on the voting card blend into one, crappy, regressive system (New Labour anyone?). The big three parties are very guilty of this, and one of the thoughts behind why UKIP has done so well in recent polls is that they’ve finally realised that standing up and having strong, clear principles, is a key to increased support. So don’t vote for the party that adheres to some of your views, and some of your enemy’s. The other key argument for why you should never vote tactically is, in my opinion, even stronger and clearer. When an election is smeared by tactical voting, democracy withers and dies. If 50% of voters choose to support Labour, it is impossible to say how many of those people are unhappy with the current coalition and think that voting Labour is the only alternative, how many hate the Conservatives so much they no longer trust the Lib Dems, how many think that Labour is the “least worst” option, or how many people truly believe that Labour’s policies and decisions are right (*cough cough*). This means that whatever your reasons for voting for Labour are, your voice is split between these options. Politicians, political analysts and journalists will not know what you think. Future Labour policies will probably continue to push through the muddied waters of “anti-Tory” and “true Socialism”. Things will not change. However, if you vote Green for example (just an example!), then absolutely nobody can say that it may have been a tactical vote. Who would vote tactically for Greens?! But what everybody will know is that you believe in Green Party policies, ideals and principles. You’re fed up of painfully boring, squiggly wiggly politics. You believe in “the common good” (one of the Green’s slogans this year), and that Green policies are of serious importance. What good is another 5-year Labour government (or Tory, Lib Dem or coalition for that matter), if nobody really knows what you want, and nothing really changes? Please, vote for the party that agrees most with your thoughts and ideals. If you’re not sure who that is, spend some time working it out (sites likehttp://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ are a good place to start). Vote FOR what you think is GOOD, not AGAINST what you think is BAD.
I can’t vote in General Elections in the UK. I can vote in Local Elections, PCC Elections, Mayoral Elections and European Elections so it seems daft to complain about not being able to join in, but it is the one privilege that my not-quite-Britishness strips me of. To begin with, it was just my grass-is-greener, I-want-it-because-I can’t-have-it mentality that was at the root of why I care about other people making the most of their votes in all elections but there’s more to it than that.
On the face of it, it seems absurd to care about voting when you’re faced with increasingly similar parties who present you with a single choice that has little to do with any policies. Time and again we get to pick between the rhetoric of “I’m in power, trust me as The Voice of Experience” and “The world is shit, I’ll offer you The Almighty Power of Change” and it feels like voting can’t get us anywhere.
But even if the issues they are fighting about aren’t as broad as I’d like, they still matter. It’s the difference of a few hundred pounds a year for a person who really needs it; the difference in whether or not my younger sisters are taught by qualified teachers; the difference between various subtle shifts in the combination of private, charity and state provision of services; and it can be the difference between pandering to the anti-Europe brigade or ignoring the majority of the population on a crucial issue of sovereignty and globalisation. Crucially, it’s the difference between being listened to or not. Policies prioritise pensioners over young people because pensioners vote in droves and few young people turn out. We have massive financial inequality because as turnout has declined, the poor and those who favour redistributive policies have been underrepresented in the polling booth. I understand why they don’t but young people in our age bracket and poor people are less likely to be in stable work, and so aren’t unionised. We have little economic power and don’t own any parts of the media. We can’t afford lobbyists and we can’t afford to bribe politicians. As our only channel to power beyond protest, voting is all the more important to stand up for ourselves, our needs and our rights.
I’m not saying that voting is all you should do – if you want bigger, more radical politics, then campaign, protest, yell, riot, kidnap and cause chaos until you get your issues on the agenda. But still turn up to vote, even if just to spoil your ballot. Make protest active, not passive because young people and the most disadvantaged don’t have a media that’s on our side to explain why non-voters feel disillusioned and disenfranchised, so we have to work harder to be heard. I’d quite like to see us have compulsory voting with an I’m-Not-Happy-With-The-Options box. If that box won, elections would start again and politicians would have to do better. But no one is about to hand you that option or any other political power or policy without you working hard to demand it.
Don’t wait for the perfect party with the perfect candidate to come along, because voting has to be just a little bit grubby. Democracy isn’t about the most thoughtful person with a lot of enlightened views winning, it’s about needing to persuade a majority of the population, not an idealistic few, that they can do a better job than someone else, because it is the least worst way of holding power to account. In a time of growing economic inequality, we should make our one spoiled, tactical, honest, radical, moderate, confident or unsure vote count for as much as the next person’s. Especially when it kinda does count for as much as the next one because it’s PR.
If you want to sort out registering for postal votes, you need to get your forms in to your electoral registry office by 5pm on Wednesday. Don’t miss out on voting, just because you missed a deadline.
In the next weeks, we’ll be publishing articles on here with pitches for different parties in the EU and local elections. If you’re interested in writing one of these articles, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or of course you can write an article saying how wrong I am.
So in conclusion, I want you to vote, and make sure you’re registered for proxy and postal votes where necessary (send us your pictures) and I’d like your arguments for:
- Voting Labour
- Voting Conservative
- Voting Lib Dem
- Voting UKIP
- Voting Green
- Voting independents in or any other party
- A referendum or not having a referendum on Europe
- Our membership of the EU
- Getting out of the EU
- Not voting
For the sake of balance, I will be forced to fill any gaps with videos of leaders’ speeches/party political broadcasts or for the last one, a video of Russell Brand and no one wants that, so get in touch and get writing.
Hello! I’m in the process of organising some international WWOOFing (probably to France as it’s close and cheap to travel to!) during summer 2014. If you would like to be kept up to date, please add yourself to this group on Facebook. If you don’t have Facebook and are interested, please contact email@example.com.
But what is WWOOFing?
WWOOFing stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. It’s a system whereby volunteers work on organic farms in exchange for bed and food. It’s free (apart from your travel costs and any exploring of the area that you choose to do) and a great way to learn new skills like ecoconstruction and organic farming techniques, travel on a budget and learn/practice a new language. I did it myself last year and it was a fantastic experience! Unfortunately, only those over the age of 18 can be WWOOFers, for both safeguarding and insurance purposes.
If this sounds like something that you’re interested in, then get in touch!
Anna, your International Opportunities Rep
To persuade you, here’s a picture of some kittens that I met on the farm last year: