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Solidarity/Common Ground

"It could be easyer than we think" Ralph Nadar

The need to engage in common projects with overarching narratives. aimed at sustainability and longevity.

The situation is not helped by the devaluation of trust by the state who tells us we can't trust our neighbours. When historically we used to rely on them. We now see the use of isolation and government sanctions and the violence of the poverty this brings. Forcing those unable to support themselves into the options of debt, food banks or crime. Rather than empathy from the community who are equally struggling, if not financially, surely morally at what is going on. We are told by much of the media to feel nothing but contempt, because there is no punishment without crime. We need to ask where is the crime in a single mother turning up late for an appointment at the DWP because her child is sick and getting sanctioned? The crimes of austerity are equal to the volume of ignorance that these penalties are being given out and are as bad as they are.

We need to ask why do we give up our rights or maybe our humanity to allow these things, not only to go on, but to be normalised? What happened to the rights of tenants, the rights of citizens, the right to accountability or the right to a working week, that were fought hard for. Why have these rights been denied and the rights of employers become all important?

Have we been anaesthetised into becoming the perfect consumer, the perfect compliant employee, and the perfect vehicle for the creation of debt? 

There is no room in the dysfunctional neoliberal policies that guides or blinds our government to drive the solidarity or innovation that will be needed to get us out of the quagmire capitalism has produced.

But there are no policies that can’t be changed should we have the will to force that change. There is nothing to stop things that have been created by human beings that can not be changed by other human beings. But that change will only come about if we can create the solidarity and common ground to sustain the change most people seem to seek.

Much of the work of this project will be to look at the problems of building solidarity and common ground. 

The need for the creation of new sustainable community housing models and redefining the tenant and landlord relationship and responsibilities

In the 1970s the then Glasgow Corporation where busy knocking down tenements and building blocks of flats and sending the city’s residents to housing schemes. (The same flats they are busy knocking down today). There is in this era the story of how a group of pioneering residents took on the Glasgow Corporation in a battle to save their homes.

Forty years ago Readvale community Duke Street, was born and still thrives today, and the model the folk created for community controlled housing associations is now used all over the UK

Only one story of (Sustainable) community led practice, through self determination, solidarity and common ground. We need more, much more.

The Secret History of Our Street Duke Street, Glasgow BBC

Duke Street, Glasgow Duke Street is Britain's longest street, running from Glasgow city centre through the heart of Glasgow's East End. Elegant Victorian tenement blocks line the road to the south of Duke Street. Yet just 40 years ago, those tenements were under threat. This is the story of how a group of pioneering residents took on the Glasgow Corporation in a battle to save their homes.