City Strolls has been hopefully serving a useful community function for the last 10 years. During that time the site has hosted events, updates and community activities.
A quote has sat at the top of City Strolls from the start. “This is the city and I am one of its citizens. Whatever interests the rest interests me, politics, wars, markets, newspapers, schools, the mayor and councils, banks, tariffs, steamships, factories, stocks, stores, real estate and personal estate.” Walt Whitman. It still encompasses to me what are the essential ingredients to life in the city (or anywhere).
If you do not get out and engage with other human beings you will not have much to say about them. City Strolls was, back in the day, when I had time to organise strolls and participate in them, about doing just that – strolling in your city. Not walking to go someplace with your head down, but looking up like a tourist and looking at, sometimes even well known things afresh. There was no planned root to a stroll. Time varied from 2 hours to 6 or so. Kids would be bored for the first bit but soon would be off exploring where they wanted, because we were free to wander anywhere, it wasn’t important. The conversation went where it needed to go. There were no leaders we were all tour guides.
Like other aspects of our lives, we need to put ourselves in the moment, to understand the connections. We learn by walking, by observing, by juxtaposing elements, how things overlay, interact, relate to each other. Looking at things from different angles, reserving judgment till we know all of the facts –till we look ourselves.
Peoples lives today are filled with endless farcical anomalies and deviations that folk are forced to worry about. We can only offer or highlight a few alternative paths through this debris, that may shine some light on the things we should really be worrying about. And on things that can offer some reflection on more human ways to live.
City Strolls Is dedicated to:
• Common Good awareness and the commons in general.
• Creating critical connections towards movement building.
• Encouraging organising social change towards institutional change.
• Creating events to encourage solidarity, learning and understanding.
• Encouraging skill sharing, networking and the avoidance of reinventing the wheel.
• Including: Encouraging the use of what we have that is free and available.
• Encouraging the use of free software and computer programming.
• Encouraging education and learning, Free University, Open Education…
• Encouraging growing, gardening, Understanding food sovereignty and permaculture.
• Transferring the organisational skills learned in the garden to the community.
• Participatory Action Research and the production of community documentation.
• Encourage young folk to organise and encourage their responsibility through self run projects.
• Relearning the city and taking it back from commerce, traffic and corporate blight.
• Carry out tasks and events with imagination to encourage participation.
• Broadening awareness of wider political activity.
• Using any medium available to express these ideas.