Open Civic Forum
LEADING freelance activist Kevin Cooper was
honoured by the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of
Trade Unions when they nominated him to the new Civic Forum in
Northern Ireland. Kevin, who is the NUJ National Executive (NEC)
member for freelances, attended the first meeting of the Civic
Forum on Monday 9 October. Kevin's appointment was welcomed by a
number of freelance activists.
"Kevin's intelligence and high principles have always
shone though his work within the NUJ," said Tim Dawson, chair
of the NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council.
Kevin Cooper © Kevin Cooper
"The trade union movement has a vital contribution to
make to the development of a non-sectarian future for Northern
Ireland, so the appointment of an NUJ activist to this key role in
the Civic Forum is great news," said Joyce McMillan, chair
of the new NUJ Copyright Committee. "Kevin's long experience
of focusing on real industrial issues as an NUJ representative
will be of great help in developing the practical work of the
Forum. I am a council member of the Scottish Civic Forum, and I
hope that the two bodies will be able to work together
productively in future, on areas of common concern."
At the first Forum meeting Kevin called for "all Civic
Forum meetings and its committees to be opened to the public and
the media". He also said "The Civic Forum's role should
be one of facilitating debate, providing criticism and comment,
to seek wide and diverse views, support new and radical
thinking, research into problems and to draft reports with
recommendations. "If the Civic Forum is to be successful and do a
useful job," he continued, "it must be properly financed
and resourced". He pointed out to the meeting that financing
is a problem for Scotland's Civic Forum.
The trade union group met at the end of the Forum meeting and
Kevin was elected its convenor and nominated to the Forum policy
Kevin is one of seven put forward by Northern Ireland
Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He thanks the NUJ NEC
for nominating him.