author: facilitation group - 01.09.2002 21:09
The discussion in the afternoon Strategy Debate on Alternatives
focused on two main themes:
Social Centres & Bridgning the Gaps
Alternatives are major issues for many people as we try to move beyond protest.
Alternatives are not enough but have to be connected to society. We have to
bridge the gaps to mainstream society and create alternative structures for
production and distribution, not just little partial projects. This means
looking at the relation between city and countryside. Scrounging existing
structures of the system [skipping/squatting] is just a temporary solution,
not a revolutionary activity.
Social Centres / Open Space (which we didn't get to talk much about)
- how to both develop and broaden
- how to share information, experience
- question how inclusive social centres are / what kind of life do they
Do they allow for participation of people with social (debt, parenthood...
) and/or physical (age, disability.... ) limitations?. Can one combine political
activities with the development of personal life?
- reaching out to other groups and subcultures (children, womens
networks, minority groups etc)
Overcome different use and possible use of time, where participation is
not limited by having to work for a living, not having access to logistical
support (child care etc). This was percieved as a core element of a societal
structure which traps people into a nine - five job and a mortage, exactly
what we are trying to find the alternatives to!
- finding ways to open up existing alternatives to wider participation
Get away from the identity of being an 'activist islands', which gives space
for prejudices rather than for understanding, human respect and interest
in WHY we seek to create alternatives.
The separation from society by creating strong subcultural identities can
be seen as a self-imposed problem. On the other hand it could be argued
that society is mostly populated by conservative racist bigots. Although
you may agree that they are also victims of the system, it does bring tension
when trying to have and create mutual underestanding and trust.
But ... it can be argued that it is in conflict zones where change will
- creating understanding between activism and 'the people in the
Present analyses which generate dynamics of change from those affected by
the issues, so people can themselves create empowering self-organised relationships,
built on mutual trust between 'us and the civil population ...'. Outreach
based on rediscovering shared human bonds rather than hammer in radical
ideas by preaching, using art and music to visualise the existing alternatives.
Over the last years this has been successfully practiced but has failed
in overcoming a consumer attitude and to feed the energy from these explosions
of creativitiy back into sustained processes.
The Consulta Process was presented as a practical example of how to bridge
those gaps. Apart from this there was a general feeling that concrete examples
of alternatives were not discussed enough and that there was no time to go
in depth into the different issues of dicussion. For the following concluding
debate on Tuesday morning, we should try to combine this abstract discussion
with concrete proposals. If any groups have examples of projects which relate
to above discussions, please present them in the newspaper BEFORE Tuesday.
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