I feel like a bride jilted twice at the altar who gets a new proposal, We
have a site for the rural convergence—maybe! The Stirling Council,
who to their credit do seem to really want to work with us, have found a big
field next to the football stadium, in a bend of the River Forth. Because
it is close to an old rubbish dump, they need to test it for methane emissions—so
we won’t know one hundred per cent for sure until next week sometime at
the earliest, which is making us all nervous. However, aside from that
it looks good, big enough, on the edge of town so we’re looking at fields
and a couple of picturesque ruins, with access to the river, and with a fairy
hawthorne in its midst. If we really get it, we can create a beautiful
eco-village, and because it is slated for development, some of our problems
around impact on the land will be much more easily solved.
Yesterday I worked on informational materials as an act of faith that we would eventually need them, then went down to the warehouse to sweep up more pigeon-shit with the masked anarchists—dust masked, that is. It’s really sweet to see how hard everyone is working just to get the space clean enough to use without being a health hazard. There’s got to be a good country song in this, or perhaps a blues:
He promised me a green field
A river running free…
Was it the FBI or Special Branch
Took my farmer away from me?
He let me down…
I got the action blues
Now I’m stuck inside this warehouse
I’ve cried till I can’t cry no more
I feel like a dead pigeon
On a dusty sweatshop floor
In a bad part of town…
I got the action blues…
Then four of us and a dog piled into a car and drove to Edinburgh for an emergency meeting. We met in the garden of the Communications Workers Union social center, where a private birthday party was raging through the first two floors and on every trip to the bathroom one had to navigate through gaggles of teenage girls in heavy eye makeup and tight skirts holding a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. There were about twenty or thirty people at the meeting, crowded around long tables in the northern dusk, going round and round the question of what to do about a rural convergence, whether or not the site the Council offered would work, what alternatives were open if it didn’t. Phil, from the group People and Planet, facilitated most of the meeting and he did an impressive job of keeping the group on track and maintaining his humor and calm. Actually, so did everybody. It was just the kind of situation that can lead people into blaming and bitching, but it seemed that everyone was listening hard to each other,, that people were frustrated with the situation but not taking it out on each other, but really looking for the best solution. Again, I’m really admiring the commitment, skills, and sheer hard work of the on-the-ground organizers here,
By the time we got back to Glasgow, it was after 1 AM. Today I spent doing some errands and then going to Stirling to look at the new site, then back for a Cre8 meeting. I bought a drill and some tools so we can start building compost toilets—we seem to talk endlessly, almost obsessively about them and I’m determined to just build one and get it happening. All it takes, really, is a barrel and a toilet seat and a box.
So, keep the good thoughts and magic flowing. This site could work beautifully for an eco-village and convergence site, but if we get left at the altar again, we have literally no place else to go. And then, as the head of the Council put it with some alarm, “chaos reigns.”
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The G8, the annual agenda setting meeting of the heads of state of the eight most powerful countries in the world, will meet in Gleneagles, Scotland, July 6-8. For more information on the mobilizations, or to donate directly to the action, see: www.dissent.org.uk
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Starhawk is an activist, organizer, and author of The Earth Path, Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising, The Fifth Sacred Thing and other books on feminism, politics and earth-based spirituality. She teaches Earth Activist Trainings that combine permaculture design and activist skills, and works with the RANT trainer’s collective, that offers training and support for mobilizations around global justice and peace issues.
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