Right to the City Public Forum, Saturday 24th July

I propose we accept our invitations from various groups and attend this public meeting. I’d like to reinstate just now a premise that as a group we have come together with a desire to explore/ resolve common struggles- this seems to be a premise reflected in the grounds for this public meeting.

The meeting is a chance to (continue to/) explore joint struggles amongst the groups involved, to explore frameworks for discussion and decision making, to broaden our understanding of our situation in relation to the ‘Right to the City’.

“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization.”
(David Harvey, ‘The Right to the City’)

Right to the City Public Forum, Saturday 24th July, 12.30 – 5.00pm
Kinning Park Complex, Cornwall Street, Glasgow (opp. Kinning Park Subway)
We could gather at 61 WP from 11am? bike or tube from there.


PROPOSAL – ‘Right to the City’?

We are proposing an open public meeting/forum to build on the success of the recent Uninstal events with Ultra-Red and Arika to develop the links made with participants in the public walk and sound workshop in May (http://www.strickdistro.org/). We also aim to encourage other groups and individuals to participate who share an interest in collective organisation and discussion around questions broadly defined over the ‘Right to the City’. Please note that this proposition is intended as a proposal or experiment for one meeting only, and is not intended to dictate the direction of future events or meetings, beyond providing a temporary framework for exchange and discussion.

Utilising the provisional banner of ‘Right to the City’, we think the forum can be used as a way to develop a meaningful critical culture in Glasgow, and create the possibility for more praxis in bread and butter organising around a politics of space. The benefit of such a forum is that it retains the autonomy of existing organisations and may help strengthen them; it allows for more organised solidarity and networking across the city; it doesn’t place undue emphasis on creating another ‘new’ organisation taking up more activists time; and it retains an open, public, transparent structure. The forum can also provide a crucial face-to-face meeting and exchange point, and help generate more conviviality between different groups.

We want to help provide a space, or forum, for discussion and exchange and hopefully help in the long term to build the capacity for cultural and political interventions, community organising, and mutual solidarity. Taking our cue from the summary of the sound workshop, we believe that ‘community organising’ should provide the main thread in a series of developing inter-related discussions around collective political and cultural practice.

The forum will provide room for an open discussion of who ‘we’ are; what we are, and what we are not; and where we want to go. We will broadly follow the outline of the previous workshop with Ultra-Red (although, this time without recorded sound, and making sure new participants are made aware of the process they are entering). It is important that everyone should have the chance to speak if they wish to, with no agenda dominating. No outcome is required from this meeting, but ideas for activity could be examined more concretely at a follow-up meeting if that is the way the discussion develops.

Arika and Ultra-Red want to continue working with the group of people we pulled together for the Uninstal events (the walk, the sound workshop), and are keen to make new connections in Glasgow. We think that this relationship could be a useful part in a longer process of developing radical collaborations. We suggest discussing what possibilities there might be as part of what we hope will be ongoing forum discussions.

This is an open invite to all those who seek to overcome political sectarianism, respect difference, and develop new and ongoing models of cultural and political activity in a time where the need for such organisation is self-evident.

Proposal -various cut/paste jobs exist

-Optional Resource
David Harvey, ‘The Right to the City’, New Left Review, Sep-Oct, 2008

-more info to follow in an email on the glasgowdiy(at)gmail.com mail out
email it if you don’t receive it -or for any more questions!

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3 Responses to Right to the City Public Forum, Saturday 24th July

  1. liamcasey says:

    4.Some ideas from todays trip to Kinning Park
    Any answers?

    When we look for commonalities, do we have Shared:

    Do we use political narratives/causes to identify possibilities of collaboration between bodies?
    or do the New Social Movements work more on identifying these situation specific commonalities?
    What is our perception of the Trade Unions as agencies for socio-political change? How has this changed over time?
    Can we identify the commonality of an antagonism towards capital?
    or even ‘between labour and capital’ what is our contemporary conception of labour?

    ((((( CAN WE DARE, AS A GROUP TO SUGGEST PRACTICES IN ESTABLISHING A POETIC DISCOURSE -or un-systematic thinking/ improv techniques ?)))))

    There was a difficulty highlighted in the exclusivity of using a cryptic discourse of marxist critical theory
    at the same time there was difficulties in approaching the open ended situation of the event – ”there’s a whole history of people who’ve talked about this -why aren’t we addressing them?” –


  2. tadramgo says:

    I’m coming

    Below, from ‘The Coming Insurrection’ by The Invisible Committee

    ‘The metropolis is a terrain of constant low-intensity conflict’

    ‘We’ve heard enough about the “city” and the “country,” and particularly about the supposed ancient opposition between the two. From up close or from afar, what surrounds us looks nothing like that: it is one single urban cloth, without form or order, a bleak zone, endless and undefined, a global continuum of museum-like city centers and natural parks, of enormous suburban housing developments and massive agricultural projects, industrial zones and subdivisions, country inns and trendy bars: the metropolis. Certainly the ancient city existed, as did the cities of medieval and modern times. But there is no such thing as a metropolitan city. All territory is synthesized within the metropolis. Everything occupies the same space, if not geographically then through the intermeshing of its networks.

    It’s because the city has finally disappeared that it has now become fetishized, as history. The factory buildings of Lille become concert halls. The rebuilt concrete core of Le Havre is now a UNESCO World Heritage sire. In Beijing, the hutongs surrounding the Forbidden City were demolished, replaced by fake versions, placed a little farther out, on display for sightseers. In Troyes they paste half-timber facades onto cinderblock buildings, a type of pastiche that resembles the Victorian shops at Disneyland Paris more than anything else. The old historic centers, once hotbeds of revolutionary sedition, are now wisely integrated into the organizational diagram of the metropolis. They’ve been given over to tourism and conspicuous consumption. They are the fairy-tale commodity islands, propped up by their expos and decorations, and by force if necessary. The oppressive sentimentality of every “Christmas Village” is offset by ever more security guards and city patrols. Control has a wonderful way of integrating itself into the commodity landscape, showing its authoritarian face to anyone who wants to see it. It’s an age of fusions, of muzak, telescoping police batons and cotton candy. Equal parts police surveillance and enchantment!

    This taste for the “authentic,” and for the control that goes with it, is carried by the petty bourgeoisie through their colonizing drives into working class neighborhoods. Pushed out of the city centers, they find on the frontiers the kind of “neighborhood feeling” they missed in the prefab houses of suburbia. In chasing out the poor people, the cars, and the immigrants, in making it tidy, in getting rid of all the germs, the petty bourgeoisie pulverizes the very thing it came looking for. A police officer and a garbage man shake hands in a picture on a town billboard, and the slogan reads: “Montauban – Clean City.”…

    • tadramgo says:

      Also: technically I don’t finish work until 1pm. So I may be a little late. I’ll try not to be, give my apologies.

      “Change life! Change Society! These ideas lose completely their meaning without producing an appropriate space. A lesson to be learned from soviet constructivists from the 1920s and 30s, and of their failure, is that new social relations demand a new space, and vice-versa.”

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