I'd really like to hear from ICC comrades and sympathizers who have experience attending or more importantly setting up and organizing Public Forums, such as those on the West Coast of the US in 2008-
I am interested mainly in the practical logistical issues involved with arranging, organizing and putting on such a public meeting with a purpose. There are some basic issues:
-Recognizing a need for a meeting/forum, due to a local event/local news or for an organizational purpose (establishing new contacts, engaging in propaganda and education work, etc).
-Finding a suitable meeting space, renting it after picking a date and time, arranging directions and transportation options (subway/metro, taxi services, bus lines, etc).
-Creating fliers containing pertinent information about the meeting, its content, purpose, who should come, where and when it is happening, etc.
Some specific questions I have are:
1) How far in advance does the ICC usually book and advertise a public forum/meeting? Is it wise to establish a time and place months in advance, or can making arrangements too far in advance be a bad thing?
2) After getting a small group to help organize and put on such a meeting, what has been the experience of the ICC with non-'proletarian camp' organizations being invited? Specifically of the leftist variety (members of Marxist-Leninist, social democratic, unionist, etc groups)- are there any pointers on how to bring a diverse audience without inviting a leftist group to 'Entryism' their way into running and controlling your meeting through sheer numbers and 'agitprop' tactics?
3) If a specific group of workers is being discussed, what is the best way to tell them about the meeting? If they are a unionized sector, should the union local and its officers be kept in the dark, or can they be beneficial in getting the word out to the workers and increase the liklihood of their attendance?
4) What is a good way to run the meeting, if members of other organizations are present along with local workers? What I mean is, if the purpose of the meeting is to establish new links and contacts, educate, promote discussion and debate, possibly create a local Discussion Circle, how would the organizing group maintain a civil and coherent structure for the meeting?
I've read in other reports on ICC public meetings (such as the one linked above about the 2008 West Coast forums) that an introduction and brief overview presentation is given at the start of the meeting/forum, followed by an organized discussion (I suppose a 'meeting chairperson' keeps order, prevents certain groups of individuals from monopolizing speaking time, encourages those in attendane to participate, etc). Is this a good description of such Public Forums?
I know that's a lot of questions, any answers/help would be much appreciate.