Themes that have come up around various discussions. If you find any interesting, want to know more, would like to talk about them, or you have something to add feel free.
The Language We Use
Strange when we speak to officials on the phone they do not seen to understand what we are trying to say. This is normal as they are usually not to interested in what we have to say. So how do we get them to listen? Tips for speaking to authority.
OK you have some good ideas, stories, poems, topics, images, or you have done a survey of your neighbourhood, local history, walks, photographs, DIY manual. So how do people get to see it? Self publish print it yourself, use Lino, potatoes, screen-print, photocopy, make a book, or anything in between. Workshop
Facebook may be the place to send pictures of the family to Australia, but is it the place to discus important things? Is there a need for a social network that does not infringe on our social rights and is not saturated in the distracting debris of big business advertising. Discuss
So you have got together with some people in your community to talk about things that concern you? These may be different concerns, so how do we combine our concerns to create some overarching aims that can facilitate us working together? Discuss.
What they hold dear
(businesses who don’t care about your environment or community)
We seldom get very far just complaining about things, it may be a good place to start. But the only way to effect those who attack what “we” hold dear in your community, is to attack what “they” hold dear. Find out what they (corporations and the like) hold dear. Workshop.
In old times there was a word for folk who did things for self gratification (for themselves) and not for the commonweal of the community, it was “idiot” The word has broadened its meaning slightly over the years. The common good is protection against idiots and those who think working for their own interests is how humanity will survive. Scotland’s common good fund is 500 years old and has many assets an attributes we still enjoy. Neoclassical economics, the economic system we use today has been around less than half that time and is well on its way to destroying every last vestige of the common good. Find out why this is a bad idea. Workshop
Once buildings were built to celebrate social progress in the city. So many of these buildings which were part of a visual history, like the Seaman’s Mission in Govan, have been trashed to make way for, sometimes nothing, or bland generic factory units or cheap build housing. Having no visual history of your community is a form of isolation. Mapping your community
These Young People
One of the most underused resource of skills in our communities is our young folk. When we have meetings about issues of importance they generally get attended by older people and the very young. The disengagement of our youth from being involved in decision making and the sharing of responsibilities in things that will affect the young, even more than those who make them, is a fundamental part of the breakdown of democratic society. (Particular to working class communities) Discuss
The Commodification of Relationships
So much of our time and efforts have become about commodities, things we own, need to own, work to own. In a resource finite world the greed of past generations have set the example to our young that the only way to survive is in our capacity to own. The cheaper social housing we benefited from has been bought up to line our own pockets, as is the debt we have accrued that our young will inherit. Discuss.
The weekly soapbox at the dinner nights is a popular way to find out what is happening where folk take 5 minutes to talk about who they are, what they do and what are their interests. Followed by a discussion on the various topics that come up. The soapbox is a good way to find out what folk are thinking about in a friendly and supportive environment.
When we examine our community and find we have things in common, overarching aims, be those enjoyable or educational ideas, or issues we are concerned about. How then do we go about mobilising the community skills and resources to creating awareness towards solving problems and creating solutions to different things that are happening around us? Workshop
Community Organising Workshops
The “So WE Stand” workshops at last years Reshuffle were not only successful but enjoyable and most of the participants were not activist types but just local people who hadn’t done any of these things before. Be good to do some more. It would also be interesting to have last years participants to see what they have been up to and have them run their own workshop.