YES Edinburgh West AGM minutes Mon 2 Oct 2017

Yes Edinburgh West AGM minutes

Newliston Arms 7.30pm Mon 2 October 2017

1. Ian Grant opened the meeting by welcoming everybody, and apologised that Joanna Cherry couldn’t be our speaker tonight – she’s in Catalonia observing their fight for Independence.

2.No Livestream is available for people who couldn’t make the meeting.

3. Apologies: Jim Carey, Rene Hamilton, Paul Haldane, Derek Mullins

4. There were 14 attendees. Email addresses given will be added to the mailing list unless anyone objects.

5. Gerry Mulvenna gave the Treasurer’s report. Finances are healthy, with a balance of nearly £700.

6. Bob Glen gave the Secretary’s report:

6.1 Social media – events in Catalonia in the last few days have demonstrated yet again the critical importance of social media when faced by a hostile government and media.

Website   Our main online offering news, events, photos, videos, a facility to subscribe to our Mailchimp mailing list (449 subscribers), a donation facility, and an archive of previous meeting minutes etc. It also includes materials specifically designed to educate ourselves politically:

Eflets: 17 electronic briefing notes on a range of important topics

book previews: 13 brief summaries of the main points of books you need to read

film previews: 11 links to films you need to see

Facebook: 1685 followers, 1783 likes

Twitter: 3109 followers

Email: Email us with comments, suggestions etc

Independence Live: Gerry does a power of work in Livestreaming our meetings, as well as national rallies and conferences

Forums: 298 friends – a library of useful information – try Yes liaison

National Yes Registry:  4 editors, 5 members – an app for your phone, next release  is due imminently, which will have improved messaging facilities

6.2 Meetings – our theme for the year was to educate ourselves politically, and we have had a series of excellent speakers on a range of topics: National Yes Registry IndyApp, Media strategy for IndyRef2, Independence in Galicia, Spain and Scotland, Brexit: the economic implications for Scotland, Lessons the Yes campaign must learn to win IndyRef2, Coming soon in Edinburgh West:  IndyRef2, Social justice in an independent Scotland, Land, Democracy & the Economy, What Scotland can contribute to banning the bomb, English Scots for Yes, Women for Independence. We had a Strategy for Independence workshop, a street stall for the Ban Trident Week of Action, and a social event. We discussed venues and Monday nights – Bob Glen to review alternatives.

7. Ian introduced the election of office–bearers by suggesting that he and Anne Donohoe (co-Convenors), Gerry Mulvenna (Treasurer), Mary Knox (meeting and greeting) and Bob Glen(Secretary) were available for re-selection, but happy to stand down if a new volunteer was keen to serve. There were no volunteers. He suggested a new post of Events Organiser, and asked if anyone was interested, but there were no offers. We discussed the importance of getting young people more involved, but in the absence of a university or college in the constituency, there were no obvious ways to focus this.

8. There then ensued a discussion as to what we could most usefully do as a group until IndyRef2 is called. It was agreed that we should have more Strategy for Independence workshops. It was agreed that we need to publicise our social media more (for example, by publishing minutes to the mailing list, and always including links to social media). Social media should be usable with as few clicks as possible. We could try for a big speaker (like Alex Salmond) 3 or 4 times a year. We could engage more with mainstream media – for example, with letters and rebuttals. Gerry will investigate a new film called Atlantic and consider it for a film night (maybe with a venue in town) – it was agreed that we should try for a few film nights in the next year.

  1. AOCB: Ian finished with some announcements:

Thu 5 Oct meeting of Yes Edinburgh and Lothians

Sat 4 Nov Conference of Scottish Independence Convention

Mon 6 Nov (Newliston Arms 7.30pm): Michelle Thomson and Roger Mullin on “Brexit: what might it mean for business in Scotland?

Mon 4 Dec (Newliston Arms 7.30pm): Stewart McDonald MP on “Defence in an Independent Scotland

You’ll find us on Yes Edinburgh West website, Facebook , National Yes Registry and Twitter. Have a look at our Eflets, book previews, film previews and our Library of topics on Scottish Politics, including Independence.

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