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LAAG ACTIVISM & SOCIAL EVENT - "JOY and REASON", Speakers Corner & Picnic

UPDATE FOR TODAY: COSY PUB INSTEAD OF SOGGY PICNIC ...The ground is wet from a lot of overnight rain, hence we'll eat lunch at the pub instead of having a soggy bottomed picnic! However we should be able to get to Speakers Corner as a largely sunny afternoon is forecast.

Weather:

Rather cloudy at first with outbreaks of rain or locally heavy showers, but this largely clearing. Cloud will break by midday with bright or sunny spells forming, although a rogue afternoon shower is possible. Feeling very warm inland. Light winds.

 

 

 

12pm - Meet at the Victoria pub, upstairs, for Boghossian discussion/practice. Snacks & lunch available and weather is due to be warm, so picnic is also on later. Between 2 and 3pm (as group wishes) we'll head down to Speakers Corner and picnic. (A  contact number will be emailed out the night before, as usual)

 

ABOUT THIS EVENT

PLEASE WEAR AS MUCH RED (red, for atheism!) AS YOU CAN - this seems to be working well in helping us identify each other, show a presence as well as a unity with other atheists.SEE BELOW IF YOU WANT A 'REAL' logo red t-shirt)

12pm: ALL WELCOME! (or come just to the PICNIC at 3pm ish if you prefer). First we will meet upstairs at the Victoria Pub to practise Peter Boghossian's method. Other LAAGers who haven't been to SC corner or to the Boghossian meetup on Aug 12 are also welcome of course! (Pub does snacks and food all day, we have a separate room upstairs)

Between 2 and 3pm : we'll head off to Speakers' Corner (10 min walk) and set up our LAAG Stand (and Picnic Area directly behind it in the park)

2:15 /3pm ish- 6pm (as flexible as people want) we'll be at our LAAG stand, working in pairs we'll try out the Boghossian method with genuinely interested religious people (but not with time wasters or the shouty brigade)

6pm ish - 'de-brief' and some laughs back at Victoria pub! Food available

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT

(Here's the group enjoying a similar event in June...)

"JOY and REASON" - A Reason Picnic in the Park

  • This 3rd event this year continues our summer of activism events "Joy and Reason" So far very popular, though we have not yet got into our stride for speaking with the religionists there. LAAG's remit is "peacefully promote & celebrate Reason, Equity & Freedom From Religion". So we shall be using Prof Peter Boghossian's method "A manual for creating atheists" to talk quietly, calmly and positively to those religious people who are genuinely interested in talking to us. The shouty brigade will not be entertained and we will refuse to talk to them as it is a waste of time and detracts from meaningful interaction.
  • Since some of you asked, we did try inviting almost all other groups & organisations along (AHS were very positive, ELH wished us well & LBA listed it a few days before the event - though hardly anyone came along from these groups) - other groups didn't even reply. We may be able to do something with the AHS in future as they were enthusiastic and supportive, and with Cloe's new university group (South Bank Atheist Society - please support and 'like' on FB! : http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/messages/boards/thread/37044822/). But right now largely it seems activism of this sort is down to LAAG and since so many of you do want to actively do something, we shall continue, with hopefully this time a bigger and better structure to the event  (ignoring, like everyone else there! ... the supposed no-banner/no leaflet rule) - we'll have a LAAG STAND this time.
  • Those who've indicated they'd like to be part of the LAAG Speakers Corner Team includes  : Adrian, Andre, Andrew B, Andy S, Brian, Cloe, David Maguire, Georgi, Graham B, Frances, Jason, Joanne, Kieron, Leif, Mark L, Martyn, Paul S, Rich, Robin, Roger, Roma, Rosa, Steve C, Stephen Y. (Others welcome to join us on the day at SC and/or join the team in our practise session at the Victoria Pub beforehand course!) (Obviously not all members of the team will be able to be present every time, and not all will want to be speakers as such - all kinds of help is needed so whatever you want to do is great!)
  • PICNIC- will situate it as close to (immediately behind) our stand. (In the park itself, behind the SC railing and under the single row of trees)

 

WHAT THIS EVENT IS ABOUT/DETAILS

  • These events have been good fun and the public have been surprised to see Reason/atheism/humanism/secularism represented, & the good natured way most of us generally handle discussions ;-). Previous activism events have been getting high fives from people passing by - leaving the devisiveness & fear to the religious, we'll spread joy and reason instead!
  • All welcome; experienced speakers, novices, and those who only want to support rather than speak. People can wander around and debate with other speakers, or support us at the LAAG stand - or just stay in the picnic area and chill!
  • If you want a red t-shirt "REAL", or a blue EVOLUTION logo T-shirt to wear on the day & keep, we have/can get some at cost (£10) for you. Mark  also has No entry "God" T-shirts for £15. Just email us (Georgi or Mark), or add a comment in the comments boxes below the event, with the size you need.

 

 

 

PURPOSE of the events: (Apart from enjoying the cameraderie and getting to know each other), the main purpose of our activism is to practise having everyday conversations with the religious. Our presence also serves to:

- Show the religious they can't say whatever dangerous, devisive and bigoted stuff they like, unchallenged. E.g. Should they be able to say "kill the infidels" (i.e all non muslims ) - and get away with itin this country (or indeed anywhere?) Once something has to be justified, obviously you can't be so gung-ho and it makes it just a little more difficult to recruit vulnerable people so easily perhaps?

- Show a voice for the the silent/apathetic majority (non religious people!); which will inevitably, in time, reach media and government.  Time and again we hear from politicians at rallies etc that secularists/atheists just don't show up or write-in. So let's start doing that ...or we'll have to stop complaining that our views are not reflected in society ;-)

- Showing latent atheists and secularists that actually, there are many many more of us than they realise...gives them confidence that they too can 'come out'! One never knows who hears something and it makes a difference. The ripple effect - you can't see it but it can work, er, miracles!

LEAFLETS:

  • We will have our own humorous leaflets, designed and written by talented LAAGers; Richard Francis, and Cheryl Kerkin (illustrations).Also some leaflets from other groups such as the National Secular Society
  • (Stephen Yarde has suggested some great ones for you to print out yourself as well, if possible ....(http://www.richarddawkins.net/a...
    "I suggest we all print them out and cut them into single strips for handing to people. Each one is unique, funny and encourages rational thought.
  • Another idea is that we could print out some of the most violent, genocidal, racist, and sexist commands in the bible and show them to people who still believe that the bible is a good book. You can find a good selection here" http://www.evilbible.com/)

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  • Stephen

    Hi guys. Sorry I can't make it today. I was getting ready and had a big 'atheism is ALL inclusive' banner, some leaflets and a huge evolution poster from open university. I've just been kidnapped by a group of 'friends', plied with jamaican ovenproof rum and being taken to the notting hill carnival down the road! I really didnt want to miss this as i believe its gonna be a great success, and was hoping that maybe I could do both. Have fun :)

    1 · August 25, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      LOL! Hope you had fun Stephen ...we felt you with us in er 'spirit' ;-)

      August 26, 2013

    • Brian

      Stephen ....I was going to team up with you round your poster OU tree....it is one of my favourites. See you nextime

      August 29, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    I think it ended up being around 35 people in the end. And as ever, it was like hearding cats, lol... 20 or so of us that had met earlier for a Boghossian reminder presentation, and had practised & role played were trying it out at SC ...while the others didn't attend that part didn't know the game plan and were doing their own thing.Overall worthwhile, but needs a rethink and regroup if we are to do it again.

    I have posted a summary and opened discussion on the Boghossian thread: http://www.meetup.com/London-Atheist-Activist-Group-friendly-community/messages/boards/thread/36899982/20/#[masked]

    August 27, 2013

    • David M.

      I agree, also need to review the leaflets that get handed out so the there are no surprises. Also may need some quality control to review there relevance.

      1 · August 27, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Yes exactly David, and actually I think leaflets don't work with the PB approach at all. Even the least 'in your face' ones will detract from the no facts, no religion, no god, no politics. We'd need to rethink ones that fit - maybe ones that ask 'how can we know that' type of questions. Have summed it up here: http://www.meetup.com...­]

      August 27, 2013

  • Kieron

    Excellent turnout. I don't think SC is the best venue to try out Peter's method, especially for the first time, but few options, and I'm sure great experience was gained by all. My attempt at his methods lasted a good 10 seconds,, so next time I hope to at least double this achievement :)

    4 · August 26, 2013

    • Kieron

      Georgi, in your previous post you named a few people who 'kept their cool',, did you *cough cough* forget to add my name to the list,,?? ;-)

      1 · August 27, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Well Kieron, as you told us, you did manage it for a whole 10 secs, lol :-)

      1 · August 27, 2013

  • rodney k.

    I asked several Muslims, "would you like to see a more Muslim England?" they all said yes, I then asked "which Muslim country would you prefer England to be like?" they all said "none, because no country at present is really Muslim".
    Christ knows what they have in store for us.
    I spent profitable time speaking with a young educated Muslim man who believes in Evolution, an old earth etc., but still believes Mohammed went to heaven on a winged horse, that 72 virgins await him etc.,
    I told him that I think in ten years he will be a non believer, he is too smart to be that stupid.

    5 · August 27, 2013

    • Kieron

      Rodney said ''Christ knows what they have in store for us.'' No he doesn't Rodney, he hasn't a *cough cough* clue,, ;-)

      August 27, 2013

    • Kieron

      Rodney, the 'strange' thing is that many at SC are immigrants, so one does wonder why they by-passed all those Islamic regions in order to reside here? Indeed, many of them have had to flee their homeland,, and what do they do when they arrive here,,?,, try to turn the UK into a similar regime as the one they have had to flee from.!! This is one example why I struggle with Peters method, and why I call them arrogant,,, because it is arrogant to move to a country which gave them shelter, but then seek to change that country into a similar regime to one they had to leave. I certainly support the UK policy in assisting genuine asylum seekers, but some who have arrived on these shores are in danger of ruining it for others imv. Peter says to avoid politics, but faith is politics, always has been, it's just dressed up differently.

      2 · August 27, 2013

  • Andy S.

    I really enjoyed the discussions with the folk at SC. Weirdest - the Mongolian sex-worker who spoke to me and Jim at the pub after everyone else left!

    August 27, 2013

    • Adrian

      Drat -I missed that!

      August 27, 2013

  • Joanne

    Fun day and some Good conversations. Not too many Shouty but a few Deliberately trying to trap Us. Peter's method No good on Them but Hope it got a Few On-Onlookers thinking. PS going to randomly Capitalised words from Now on to Emphasis their Importance.

    2 · August 26, 2013

    • Roger

      It would be an interesting & useful discussion to explore what kind of people "the method" was ineffective with & think what else might be tried (apart from garotting, that is)

      1 · August 26, 2013

  • Adrian

    Very genial day and I think everyone who wanted to had every opportunity to test out the Boghossian method. I did and it was surprisingly non-confrontational. Actually just felt like a normal conversation, and not like you need to feel scripted or under pressure to control the conversation or defend positions. You can just wait until they've said whatever they want and then you're back in with "that's very interesting. So how do we know that is true?" I can see the method being really useful in normal social situations. Most people won't even have a clue what you're doing, or that you're doing anything really, other than having a normal chat!

    2 · August 26, 2013

  • Jason

    But the folks should be heading to SC soon.

    1 · August 25, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Thanks for fielding all this Jason. Hope it didn't take you away from the family gathering too much!

      August 26, 2013

  • Mark

    Excellent event. Shows we're growing in numbers & pardon the pun - faith. Will be great to see this go from strong to stronger. Next time, let's have 2 tables, so we can spread the message a bit further. There's only 2 or maybe 3 of these events left before it gets cold. Well done everyone. Hope to see you all there next time & bring a friend.

    3 · August 26, 2013

  • Andreas

    Hi! Are you still around Hyde park?

    August 25, 2013

  • Adam

    Hi All,

    Good luck with the reasoning, unfortunately, I cant make it today.

    August 25, 2013

  • Jason

    Head east down Hyde Park Place, then north when you get to Hyde Park Street. Then east again along Hyde Park Square until you get to The Victoria. It's about half a mile away for SC, or about 10 minutes walk.

    1 · August 25, 2013

  • James

    U still coming to speakers corner?

    August 25, 2013

  • Jason

    James, because of the weather the plan changed to meeting at The Victoria, 10a Strathern Place.

    August 25, 2013

  • James

    Is anyone here yet?? (Speakers corner)

    August 25, 2013

  • Roger

    Just about to leave for "xOaks" but I wish I could do both activities too. Hope it goes well & tell me all about it afterwards.

    1 · August 25, 2013

  • Kieron

    BBC1, discussing faith schools now.

    August 25, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    UPDATE FOR TODAY: COSY PUB (UPSTAIRS PRIVATE ROOM, FROM 12pm) INSTEAD OF SOGGY PICNIC ...The ground is wet from a lot of overnight rain, hence we'll enjoy lunch at the pub instead of having a soggy bottomed picnic! However we will almost certainly be able to get to Speakers' Corner as a largely sunny afternoon is forecast. See you all later, and on the bright side, there's no need to cart picnic stuff around now! :-)

    August 25, 2013

    • Adrian

      On a note of travel: watch out for the Notting Hill Carnival area and also there's a guard strike on the London Overground today.

      August 25, 2013

  • Jason

    Sorry folks, won't be able to make it today. Planets have aligned so that the whole family is available for a get together. It's a once in a blue moon kind of thing, so can't let it pass. Save some souls if you can, but have fun whatever happens :)

    2 · August 25, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Have a good one J, we'll update you on how it goes ...will be an interesting experiment!

      August 25, 2013

  • Cloe

    August 25, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Indeed Cloe, Indeed. How shall we cope?!

      August 25, 2013

  • terence f.

    Have fun but I have too many other commitments that day but do have fun.

    August 19, 2013

  • Andre

    I can confirm that a relentless, inexorable supply of shots do materialise once you find yourself in Cloe's vicinity.

    2 · August 17, 2013

    • Andre

      Yes, you approach us all smiles and charm, give us drinks (some of them French), always followed by some mischievous witticism, and when the next boozer appears in the offing all you have to say is, 'Alright folks, I'm off to Reading'. Innocent indeed.

      August 17, 2013

    • Cloe

      Andre: You seem to be suffering from 'Cloe withdrawal symptoms' or 'CWS' associated with Post-Traumatic Stress of shot nights.
      For more information please visit www.cloewithdrawal.org

      1 · August 17, 2013

  • Cloe

    Afraid you'll have to have extra shots for me :'(
    I will probably be at Reading Festival - behaving myself.

    August 17, 2013

    • Roger

      Not.

      1 · August 17, 2013

    • Andre

      My hands have started shaking.

      1 · August 17, 2013

  • Roger

    Sorry! Once again gigging in Sevenoaks.

    August 15, 2013

    • Adrian

      Isn't it more correctly Oneoak since teh storm of '87?

      August 15, 2013

    • Roger

      They won't sell me a train ticket to "Oneoak" :-(

      2 · August 16, 2013

  • Steve C

    Just realised I'm in sunny Dorset on the 25th so wont be able to make it - gutted!

    August 15, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Aw! And I was particularly looking forward to seeing you sweat, bite your lip, cross your legs ... and NOT give into shouting "You're talking Bollocks, Mate!". Lol. Ah well, depending on how suitable SC corner turns out to be for Peter Boghossian's method, we will do more events on Sep 29th and Oct 27th. Have a nice time in Dorset! x

      August 16, 2013

  • Stephen

    The last one was fanstastic. I think positive instead of negative was a great method of educating and helping the indoctrinated see the blatent flaws in their ideology. I'll bring my huge evolution poster from the open university to this one to pin up.
    I'll see if i can get some richard dawkins leaflets, atheismuk and nss leaflets. It will be good for people to come and browse our table and take what they like. In the free market of ideas it is so important to get ours in the public square too. I think people will know reason and common sense when they see it

    1 · July 3, 2013

36 went

  • Georgi L.
    FOUNDER, ORGANISER, cat herding faith virus boghossinator, Co-Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Adrian +10
    FOUNDER, Cat herding KingHell of Puns, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Roma
    A naughty one!
  • frances j. +2
    Frances 'songbird' Janusz
  • Brian
    Brave Sir Robin! Exploding Lasagne!
  • John P
    PREMIUM Laager,LINKS-MEISTER & Mr Fix-it Star!
  • Joanne
    Sweet as Bro!
  • Andre +1
    Tee-total whimsy
  • Andy S.
    Good wit' the Ladeez apparently!
  • Robin
    "Robin V.I" (Very Irreverent, naughtier than he first appears!)
  • David M.
    Premium LAAGer! & Twitter Star
  • paul m. +1
  • Kieron
    ORGANISER, Founder Member.
  • Mark
    Mr. Fixer! Premium LAAGer!
  • rodney k. +1
    Cap'n Rodders!
  • A former member
  • A former member

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This covers: This is to help with LAAG's activism and the Ministry of Reason project.

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