If we think for a minute of the meaning of colonisation, we can interpret colonisation, not only the Global sense, but also in the local sense. For instance we could compare the colonisation of a whole country, with the colonisation of a local area of land, say in the form of a public park. Sure there are differences in scale and the application of force and coercion inflicted by the colonising power, in order that their demands be met, but the techniques used in forming a consensus have much in common, in both the local and global experience.
“Colonization is the act, by a militarily strong country, of invading and taking over the sovereignty of another country/area, which then becomes known as a colony . This often includes the establishment of one or more settlements, also called “colonies”, inhabited by emigrants from the colonising power. “
What then is is the privatisation of public property, public work force and public land -but colonisation.
The colonisation of a country changes the relationship between the country that is colonised and the coloniser. When Britain colonised India, the political, industrial and cultural sovereignty of that continent became subservient to British rule; the Indian cotton trade, whose product was far superior to the coloniser’s, was destroyed, to allow the influx of cheap British cotton; the technique of divide to control, was applied by the rulers, pushing Muslim, against Sikh, and through the partitioning of the Indian continent.
Colonisation denies the soverenty of the colonised country and the rule of law becomes that of the coloniser
The parks in our city could become a microcosm of global colonisation. . Our parks are like what coloniser’s like to call un chartered territory, that is land that remains still undiscovered (immaterial of any indigenous population). Think of America, Africa, Australia, and so on. Even to-day, some maps used in American schools have areas of the Brazilian rain forest marked as “un chartered territory”, much to the anger of Brazilians.
The park is a place of natural beauty, as was America, before Columbus, only our localised Columbus, becomes Business interests.
It is typical of colonial powers, to try and convince the country that they are about to invade, that it is for the countries own benefit. They will lay out the reasons why the nation in question needs saved from their mineral resources, indigenous skills, and rural communities. All this will be wrapped up in promises, gifts and a benign sense of maternal protection.
Concerning the city park, we are to be convinced through consultation, to help the “Council ensure that the city’s parks and open spaces achieve their “true commercial potential.” [my italics] That their [the councils] cotton is better than ours. We the public, who seem to like the parks the way they are.
What is the parks “true potential”? Or another phrase that is used in the Parks and Open Spaces Public Consultation Document. ” We need to create a new generation of park users”?
In the case of Kelvingrove park (Glasgow) and probably many other parks, what would keep park users happy, which is the question being asked, is:
if the parks department employed a few members of staff to keep the toilets opened when the park is, which is never the case;
that the council employed a few more human ‘parkies’ to communicate with the humans who use the park, instead of investing in cheap but in the long run, expensive, ugly looking, CCTV cameras.
that every tree that is felled gets proper permission for its removal;
that the movement of heavy fairground equipment, the use of massive PA systems, the cordoning of vast swathes of the park for commercial use, that is becoming all to regular an attachment, even at the smallest events in the park.(The parks “true potential” ?)This is the stuff that has to be kept in check, if we are to avoid the colonisation of the park by business. This is the new generation of park users the council have in mind – business users.
Being industrialists, the coloniser’s, will guide the pastoral, subsistent, citizen away from the pursuit of meditative, reflection of environment, to the much more fulfilling pleasures of need. We need this and we need that, etc.
It is interesting to note here. When slavery was abolished, the freed slaves went back into the country side, blended in to their natural environment, built some simple shelter, grew crops, and fished to sustain themselves. The slave masters then needed a new form of dependency to control the reclaimed autonomy of the indigenous people. This was achieved when ‘needs’ became the new chains. Once the populations of freed slaves were encouraged by the needs of western civilisation, houses, machines, artifacts and consumption, their liberty was once more curtailed by the masters, because they needed the wages of slavery to purchase these things. (the “true potential” of the free had been achieved)
Putting this in the perspective of the park. Keeping in mind the Idea of the city park was conceived by consciences victorian industrialists who realised industry was ruining and polluting our cities and the people needed respite from the ravages of industrial devastation.
Now we need the park to escape the equally ravages of consumerism, technology, private property, and non active entertainment that we are constantly being encouraged to be plugged into.
Why are we not saying. We know what you are up to with your phony, half-baked consultation document City Council. You will do with our parks what you have done with everything else that has been put in trust to you to look after, for the citizens and future citizens of the city. You will sell it.
The indigenous people under the coloniser’s were fleeced of their land, minerals, autonomy, soverenty, and liberty because of their honest naivety. Ownership was not recognise in the American Indian, culture. But, with overpowering force against them, without recourse to law, rights, or the sophisticated weapons of their enemy, on tumbling the robbery, the native Indian, fought sometimes to the last in order to try and save their autonomy. While in the industrial world, we are educated by the localised, coloniser’s “civilising” influence, through tax, insurance, law, consumerism, entertainment, rent and wage slavery: We seem to know, but are socially blind, ignorant, or apathetic, to these parasites and out and out ,robbers, of the public estate.