In South east London last weekend Moonbow Jake's cafe bar was packed with people discussing and debating Muhammad Ali and the spirit of the 60s. Jason Halal, an American student at Goldsmiths' College, has written an article for the student magazine on the forum:
'The story of Muhammad Ali is so relevant today. Here we have the US about to go to war and it can't even sort out its own internal problems, like race relations. I thought the forum was interesting and open minded. What Mike Marqusee said to conclude was really important: 'Ali was not an unflawed character. Some of the greatest leaders have been flawed.' He was like one of us.'
Whitstable had a forum last weekend on women's liberation in the 21st century. Local socialist Bunny Laroche helped set up the anti-war group in Whitstable and was part of organising a demonstration against a hospital closure the day before: 'I've just started a reading Sex, Class and Socialism by Lindsey German, and I found the talk really enjoyable. I was pleased that so many women in the audience spoke and contributed to the discussion.'
Niamh MacMahon, a local Socialist Alliance member and anti-war activist, found the forum useful to clarify her own ideas: 'I didn't feel like I had to read a lot to take part in the discussion. I could talk about my own experiences because it's so close to home.'
Sarah Murdock, a student from Kent University who is particularly interested in women's liberation, said she found the forum really refreshing and useful: 'The discussion was good because as people were speaking they were putting things together in their own minds and linking all the issues up. I'd really like to go to more forums.'