Actually that was one of the major tenets of the theme Duncan: sustainability in Letterfrack as an example [or model] of how rural communities in Ireland should evolve.
Certainly it was one of the things that was dealt with to a greater or lesser degree in Ireland's 2006 Venice Biennale proposal, but it seems that we could approach it from a bottom-up perspective rather than the ubiquitous top-down approach as favoured by all the Biennale projects (I'm not having a pop at them, that was the brief they were given).
I think as well that we are looking at a broad understanding of sustainability, including sustaining elements of craftsmanship (drystone walling and currach-making in Letterfrack, for example), sociology (the role of seanachai/singing in the community, the primacy of the pub in village culture) as well as urban/rural strategies, building techniques and environmental schemes.
That was the world's longest sentence, worthy of Ronan McCann (if only there were more commas on the keyboard). We've mentioned before how Letterfrack has adapted three times over (Ellis arrival/Christian Brothers Industrial School/Furniture College), and we'll be looking at how best it can retain/sustain the elements and characteristics that make it such a sound community, whilst not limiting it to some sort of picture-postcard tourist village.
Actually, I'd be very interested in what other EASA members have to say to that, as it's certainly one of the main elements of the theme, and something that we as organisers are very interested in. So please ... make comments. Or don't, I'm not the boss of you.
fuckin hell, letterfrack is a PLACE? I thought it was just a funny name you'd come up with!
I remain, consistently, out of the loop ;)
The Interweb is your friend.
hey hugo, nice to hear from you,
anyway, glad you are looking at this critical issue and good the bottom up is being looked, id recomend highly that ye contact or hook up with the islands community gardeners and the CELT crew down in scariff, east clare. oh and also the village community, seeing as they now have planning permission to build irelands first "eco village", theres also the camphill communities dotted around the island, ballytobin near kells, and callan area in kilkenny already have a bio fuel plant on their community land, and take waste from the surrounding areas to power their entire community
community gardens now in cork, belfast, dublin, scariff, gort, derry, (maybe in letterfrack after your easa?)
part of attempt to make a cpul and greenway for dublin
irelands eco village at cloughjordan
see their Ecological Charter
have fun, see yez sometime
(a pity that easa are up to their old diversion tricks again ((trade, 6 ques)) alas thats todays ark world for you)
¿illegal eviction of the squat happening right now?
police arrived this morning and somehow gained entry, there are now 3 urban police vans and many big police around. People living in the squat are not being permitted to enter to collect belongings, many people have all their world in there, 1 girl was extrememly upset and arrived shouting and threathened to set herself on fire, she poured a flammable liguid over herself and tried to light a match, police ran out and knocked the matches and bottle of liquid from her hands, then 4 police restrained her against the fence. It has been claimed that these police activites are illegal, lawyers have been called and request has gone out to the barcelona okupa community for support for the pallars community.
news on imc-org also
3 part audio interview, in spanish and english, with some of the Pallars squatters
from indymedia radio thread
Can we win? What sort of world will that look like?
After some interesting discussion here (0) on this feature its gone all quite again, right when we were getting somewhere. I wonder what others views are about what Liz and myself put up, apart from it being "old hat". Is it a case of sitting back and saying "oh well, we tried, but we were never going to win.....", which is part of what Micheal Albert criticised greatly. Or is it that its easy to be against but a bit more difficult to be for something? As stated I believe this is exactly the stumbling block of the ANTI-capitalist movement(s): we are not dreaming enough of those alternatives and then attempting to create them, maybe Im wrong, if so please show us or tell us about them.
One example of being for something and working to make the idea a reality...
Really imagining life in a post capitalist world: This is the general form a sustainable society must take whether we like it or not!
Id like to direct you to an excellent essay I came across recently, while spending time in an eco-village in Torri, outside Ventimiglia, Western Italia. The essay was found in the intentional communities international directory (1). and is entitled "THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT " (2), in it Ted Trainer what a sustainable society would look like: economics, less production, more decentralised self organisation, fixing stuff, less roads and more food production, permaculture.......
here are a selection of the bits I felt were the most important
I have no hesitation in claiming that the fate of the planet depends on those who are pioneering the transition to The Simpler Way.
put most of our energy into developing and demonstrating alternative lifestyles, settlements and systems, so that when consumer society runs into really serious problems people will be able to see that there is another way, one that is more sane, workable, attractive, just and ecologically sustainable.
We are too relaxed and we are too polite! We should be going out to the mainstream asserting that its ways are catastrophically mistaken, that they are destroying the ecosystems of the planet and impacting severely on the lives of billions of Third World people, that the global economy is outrageously unjust, and that a satisfactory world order cannot be built unless there is transition to The Simpler Way. At present we are not asserting these points loudly enough, consumer society does not understand its need to change, and it does not see us as showing the way to a sane and just world order.
Present system is unsustainable and that we have to create new ways of living ecologically....
So from that Id like to talk about what we tried in Dublin and finish with some of my reflection, having left a bit frustrated to Barcelona where things seem a bit healthier.
our proposal: Can Dublin become a more sustainable city?
our action: bikes and gardens
We helped set up 2 community gardens on the proposed CPUL: Dolphins barn community garden (6) and the "cursed Earth"(7) garden in Phibsborogh. The first one was a great project which grew from strength to strength until the factory owner pulled the plug on it, but the collective moved out to Finglas and now there is talk of moving back into the city centre and Dolphins Barn, this time 200 metres down the canal at Sallys Bridge. This project was open to all and the group publicised what they were doing in exhibitions, on local radio, on indymedia, and then got coverage in the mainstream media. very few of Dublins "activist" community actually participated in the garden, some did but this was a very small percentage. I had expected a lot more "activists" to participate before things took off, as it was a perfect project to move from political theorising to direct action and plugging into community that could still do with more projects like this. Anyway the garden crew got to know each other and soon it was taken over by the people doing it. Regular times and a website and active mailing list were essential in this project taking off.
The cursed earth garden was a more punky "activist" garden, which had some "others" participating but a very chaotic system of people turning up and doing things made it hard for the others to participate. As far as I know the garden is not being used now, I hope im wrong. Ive asked but heard nothing.
Im just posting this up in attempt to further get this discussion growing and ideally more of you out digging with the gardeners. Its the basis for all, for many it is revolution in action, in all those years since there has been a lot of talk, but as trainer says: "We are too relaxed and we are too polite", i take that as we do really need to shift the playing field. In talking with people still in Dublin and Ireland and others like myself who have left Im putting out a common feeling thats held, especially about Dublin: "Fuck all gets done there, theres still too much negativity and lack of giving things a go. Theres too much shite, talk-talk-talk, not enough laughing and acting the bolix, are we a community?
I await responses................................
just had a lovely chat there with the person next to me here, about life, love, revolution, smiling, working from the inside out.......
(0) Whatever Happened to Anti-Capitalism?
(1) intentional communities international directory : www.ic.org
(2) THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE MOVEMENT
(4) "The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil," - www.communitysolution.org
Cuba & Peak Oil Film Shown In Dingle
(5) Velo City
(6) Dolphins barn community garden
(7) "Cursed Earth" garden in Phibsborogh.
(8) lack of give it a go in Dublin ....
"indymedia irelands first live stream"
(9) spiritual ecological revolution
heres a little news from Barcelona and a great space down in Barceloneta that i frequent and where some of my friens live...They are a bit sad about the fact that their home that they love will probably be torn down next week, if you feel like sending a funny postcard i think that would help a lot....regards from BCN....Adieu....Dunk
Barcelona has had a long history of self organisation, anarchism in action, bloody battles and for nearly a year from july 19th 1936 to this week 70 years ago it was a model of a city living a successful active anarchist revolution (0). For many still around the world it is a model, both in those days during the spanish civil war and also today due to the fact that it still is an amazing space of creativity, organisation, and positive direct action. Fascism existed here from the bloody end of the civil war in 1939 to the death of Franco in 1975 and in the last 2 decades it has been somehwere with a huge number of squats opening up, many of which became social centres, places that offer as spaces for organisation, socializing, organisation, experimentation, for the growing body of the social movements, both locally in Barcelona and further afield in the wider world.
In the last few years there has been a huge and ever increasing rise in the evictions of squats in the city, especially the vibrant social centres that act as open spaces to demonstrate alternatives to the current economic model that is being pushed here, and elsewhere around the world. Last week one of the most active, Miles de Viviendas (thousands of homes) got word that they were facing eviction and a quick call out went around. What followed has been an explosion of activity outside the front door of this 6 story squatted ex police barracks in the heart of Barcelonetta, the village like seaside part of Barcelona.
Along with the pirate university (1) which they have set up and are trying to spread further afield, this group of self proclaimed pirates recently set up a pirate TV station in the neighbourhood. Before this they had been busy recording material and having it played in local bars and the like. They have also been a very important point of meeting, organisation, media creation, action from for the local neighbourhood who are resisting the councils plans at gentrification by banging pots and holding their own discussions about what type of Barri they want: Barceloneta Es Rebela (2)
By calling to people to come, make and do, or simply to be, both outside the front door of the house or inside in the front room, they have demonstrated just how vibrant a space can be. Each night there have been parties, film screenings, theatre and circus shows, music gigs and by day there has been on street workshops : kids art zone on the street, clothes making, free shop, new urban garden. These activities have been participated in or attended by both people from both the "activist" community and the local community: a fine example of how a central activist space is not purely a "political ghetto". On that note I watched an excellent film in there on Mayday recently made by some of the group who are connected with Brazil's Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) À Margem do Concreto (at the margins of the concrete) (3) : 5 busloads of men, women and children storming and taking derelict 13 floor hotels, being fought by bomb throwing cops and a legend aul lad who when sent to prison had succeeded in having the whole prison boycotting coca cola within 3 days....
Some people here claim that in the first few months of 2007 there were more evictions of squats in Barcelona than in the previous 2 years together, with many targeted spaces being highly active and organised social centres which serves as nucleuii for local organisation and action as well as being spaces that simply demonstrate alternatives to an ever increasing crazy world of consumption, no freetime, spending, unhappiness. Here in Miles, as stated by @ above, they demonstrate by doing. Whether or not the above figure is accurate it is clear here from speaking with people that there is a clearing of these hubs of resistance, the social centres, as well as the okupas that are simply used as living spaces, which is a political act in itself. But the thing that I have found with this ever growing "war against okupas" if you like, is that the attitude to evictions is "uno deselojo, otre occupacion" (one eviction, another occupation) but it is becoming increasingly difficult to simply open more spaces and recently the authorities have changed their mechanism of working the law without changing the laws themselves whereby a newly opened squat can be evicted within a week by the "deselojo express", whereas in the past once the legal process was begun it could take weeks, months, years to get resolved during which time the occupied space grows and becomes active and for a short while is yet another node in the network here. But with the new mechanisms there does not seem to be an equal response from the okupa movement. When I reported last about the Makabra eviction (4) I included in the title, as noticed and commented on by Iosaf : ¿what reaction will follow? I expected that there would be some a lot of actions on the streets both here and boyond by those who support the squats and try to make it increasingly difficult for these evictions to happen without some form of reaction. I say this having talked with many people in Ireland who did "stuff" to offer support and solidarity to their friends in the Danish squat of Ungdomshuset (5) and also having been at the PGA (peoples global action) assembly in Toulouse, one of the 5 decentralised meetings which focused on "urbanism, squatting and access to the land", which disapointingly had no representatives from Barcelona. (6) In the case of Makabra they successfully played a media game and then organised a great occupation of Can Ricart, which got UN housing directors backing, only to be evicted by Mr Ricart and now that collective has, it seems, fallen to pieces, some here, some there, but no more circus, clowning, actions, occupations....perhaps they have another trick up their sleeve? I dont think so though, I think they are tired. But should there be, or could there be a more active, confrontational,
And just a last word or 2 about the social centres and all that, having been part of the Dublin collective for a year or 2 just before they moved into the river facing site: The social centre scene here is amazing, there is so much on, always a choice of activity: music gig, film, cheap food, workshop, library, free bike workshop, gym, climbing walls, free net, free shop..... the list is endless. Some social centres are not squatted but rented spaces, but many are squatted. Some squats are ghettos, non spanish speaking people with little or no wish or real connection to their local community, but others strive for that interaction and from that become supported and fought for by the community due to the projects that have grown from the squat or centre. In terms of organisation, there is the INFO USURPA (7), which is a 3 a3 page vertical weekly callender which lists all the present social centres of the city and its environs, currently about 40, and lists the activities of the week. Most centres print this or pick it up from a centre of distribution in the city along with the weeks other flyers, posters etc and they paste them to the wall of their centre. An easy way to find out whats on. Along with this there are about 4 radio stations and a whole load of papers and zines that keep people up to date about things. There is also a okupa office that offers practical support to people looking to squat, caught up in legal difficulties, seeking advice or info etc, this happens in Ruinamelia okupa. Theres still much to learn from these centres and much more boundries to be pushed or erased. But for the time being thoughts and energies are with the Miles pirates, on this rainy day.
So what can you do?
Perhaps also people might send postcards in solidarity to the pirates of Miles, we could make a nice postcard line to accompany the knickers, and I bet they´d appreciate the thought and little action.
Miles De Viviendas
Allez les pirates
(0) anarchist revolution of 1936 in Barcelona
(2) Barceloneta Es Rebela
(4) Makabra eviction: Barcelona: 3 early morning raids on 3 squats, including MAKABRA, ¿what reaction will follow?
(6) PGA (peoples global action) "urbanism, squatting and access to the land"
(8) Seomra Spraoi (room of play)
where to from here...
Bienele pirate hijacking
...........allez les pirates..................
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