Muhammad Abbas Shaffi went to a Marxist forum on Kashmir last Thursday in Bristol. He said, 'It was the first time I'd been to any meeting like that, but I was really inspired. The speaker had an overwhelming knowledge, and being Kashmiri myself it was the first time I had ever discussed Kashmir from an independent perspective. What I also liked was that it was an open and honest debate by people who had nothing to gain by being there apart from the betterment of humanity. It was debate, not for the sake of it, but to try and overcome the problems in Kashmir and think how to resolve the issue.'
Terry Starreveld is an anti-war activist in Haringey, north London. She's been to two Marxist forums and went along on Tuesday to hear Mike Marqusee talking about Muhammad Ali. She said, 'I liked listening to Mike because he has experience of what happened in the 1960s. I was born after the time so it was really good to get some direct insight. The forums are a good environment to be in. You learn not just from the speaker but also the debate among all the other local people in the room. There are people there who are committed to anti-capitalism and other causes like socialism. I think it's an intelligent and alternative way of spending an evening. I felt like a politics student in a politics lecture for free!'