Thank you to everyone who joined us at BOM on Monday evening for our first-ever Halloween Social. After some initial nerves over whether anyone besides local organiser Francis would embrace the Halloween theme, our event proved fancy dress, trick or treat Haribo sweets and digital rights activism can mix.
On Monday evening we held a screening of The Haystack surveillance documentary at Birmingham Open Media, followed by a discussion of what the recent Brexit vote means for digital rights.
With there being just 3 more sleeps to go until Open Rights Group Birmingham (ORG Birmingham) launches on Wednesday (if you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so from here), I wanted to share with you some interesting updates.
Here comes the merch
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the central team at ORG have kindly sent me what can only be described as a motherlode of merch. Should you be able to make our meetup on Wednesday you will be able to get your hands on some rather nifty looking ORG stickers and leaflets to help you spread our message on digital rights far and wide. I hope you’re excited about the merch as I am.
Secondly, I had a good chat during the week with Lydia Snodin, ORG’s local groups coordinator. Lydia’s given me some tips and generally boosted my confidence about hosting our first ever meet-up.
While our first meet-up is most definitely intended to be friendly, relaxed and informal, Lydia has recommended we work to a basic structure so that everyone gets a chance to contribute and we make the most of our time together.
Here’s my first attempt at an agenda. I’ve tried to structure our meetup so that the most important bits happen early on so that people who need to leave early can still contribute. As ever, your feedback is very much appreciated.
6-6.30: Arrival and registration/sign-up
Introduction to the Snoopers’ Charter and what it could mean for digital rights.
Keep Yourselves Refreshed – BYOB policy
I am reliably informed our hosts for the evening, Birmingham Open Media (BOM), will be able to make us a cup of tea or coffee. Beyond that, they might struggle as we will be using the venue out of hours and access to facilities will be limited.
To keep things fun, I’ll be doing my best party host impression and will supply some snacks and soft drinks. If you’re thinking of coming it would be great if you could bring along some snacks and drinks. BOM are pretty relaxed about people bringing alcoholic drinks into the venue provided we are responsible. If you can stretch to bringing refreshments for you plus one more, we should have plenty of food and drink for everyone to enjoy.