SAVE ROSIA MONTANA: WEEKLY MEETINGS TO BUILD THE MOVEMENT
Dear Friends – In Cluj people committed to and involved in the Salvati Rosia Montana / Save Rosia Montana movement are coming together in open weekly meetings to see how to build and grow the movement further. This is also happening in many other cities across Romania and around the world. This development is a wonderful way of engaging more people, creating an empowering and democratic space for people to come together and share ideas, and to see how – concretely and practically – to support the movement to grow, reach more people, build on our creativity, and become more and more empowered and even more effective. The last month across Romania and around the world has been historical. The next month…will be even more amazing. These groups can help make this happen, and help Salvati Rosia Montana / Save Rosia Montana succeed.
Below are some ideas I’ve written now to those coming together in Cluj. They may also be interesting / helpful for others in other cities.
Absolutely excellent to see this group! Some thoughts which I hope may be useful:
1. Meetings early in the week: I agree with those suggesting meeting earlier in the week normally. If the meeting is on Tuesday or even Wednesday each week, it will give more time to implement what is agreed and help build for the coming Sundays;
2. Building & Deepening the Movement – Action Groups: The proposal to focus on getting students more involved is great. I would also suggest there are other key STRATEGIC and TACTICAL issues which the movement should focus on growing / developing. These could include Action Groups that come together each week at the meetings and discuss on-line as well, focusing on:
A. Getting information up creatively all over the city. There’s been a fantastic increase in posting information to inform people. What else can we do? How can we be more creative? Can we use arts? Can we get businesses and stores that are friendly to post information in their stores or put up signs outside that they support Rosia Montana? Can we encourage citizens to put up signs more in their windows? Some of these efforts began over the last few weeks but haven’t been followed through yet to their full potential. Having a team / group that can work on this could help. Anyone interested could join and be part of it.
B. Mobilising Artists: Cluj is filled with bands, musicians, painters, designers, dramatists/theatre performers, film makers, and artists of all kinds. Can we get a group of artists or a group for outreach to artists which can engage them to more actively support the movement and use their gifts to build the movement in Cluj and Romania? This is happening more and more, but we could definitely increase it further and they could use their talents/gifts to encourage, mobilise, inspire and engage the BROADER population of Romania.
C. Reclaiming our State Institutions: Imagine if we had a declaration from the Cluj City Hall, City Council, County Council, Prefectura, MPs, MEPs against the project? This would inspire communities across the country. Imagine a group that can help us lobby and do advocacy towards our elected officials – to really get them to positively, constructively engage with integrity and work for the well-being of the country – to do politics the way it really should be done: honestly and with integrity. Creating a group to focus on lobbying representatives and state and elected officials could be an important step for the movement.
D. Creativity Strategy & Tactics: Some people might also be interested in discussing, sharing, and thinking through more how to develop the movement further, and how to build upon this amazing dynamic to make it a truly transformative movement for Romania. The focus on mobilising the students is excellent, but we also need to deepen, broaden, and create a strong foundation and momentum for the movement to continue and grow further – and to be more and more successful and effective. The company is mobilising massively, and we need to be creative – building the Sunday demonstrations but also taking the movement much further and finding the way to mobilise 3% more of the population, then 6%, then 8%, then 15%, then 40%, etc, etc., and get more and more people i. directly supporting and sympathetic and ii. actively involved.
E. Training, Education, Workshops, Conferences & Empowerment: Another possible front could also be to begin holding more and more open ‘democratic’ spaces to discuss what’s happening, create spaces where people can ask questions, share ideas, feel free to voice concerns, hopes, doubts and have a respectful space where they can learn more from and together with others. Having workshops, civic education, and other programmes in schools (some teachers will be sympathetic to this and may even do it themselves if they get materials; some supporting NGOs have civic education programmes in schools and could discuss what’s happening now in Romania as an example) could help inspire and encourage students engagement. Having workshops, seminars or conferences at the university could create another space for sharing and exchange of ideas, informing people more effectively, and step by step reaching out to and engaging more and more people constructively in the movement. Training and workshops on nonviolent action, social mobilisation, building democratic and civic movements, using art and social media, and many, many more topics could also help inspire, mobilise and empower more and more people’s creative engagement. A lot of this is already happening, and what’s beautiful is that there are so many people involved in the movement that have great gifts and expertise in these areas. They could be invited to help contribute, and this could: 1.empower, inspire and encourage more people to become more involved; 2. be an example of ‘weaving together’ community as people come together to take part, be inspired, be active.
And throughout: let’s keep these spaces the spirit they have been from the beginning: open, democratic, respectful, celebrating, courageous – built on the best that is coming forward from this beautiful movement, and the best that inspires, mobilises and encourages people to say ‘Yes! I want to be involved!’.