SWS North American Tour Fall 2011 “a healthy neighborhood is a radical thing”

Over the past months, along with people behind  Aviation Justice Express – Touring Now! (sharing ideas across the pond about how communities can tackle polluting industries) (www.aviationjustice.org) So We Stand have made some amazing contacts with projects and people in the states around efforts of community building with the ethos that “a healthy neighborhood is a radical thing.”

The tour will continue as part of the continued dialogue in America on Aviation Justice particularly in the light of the suppression of freedom of speech of both John Stewart and Dan Glass. The campaign continues to get them to the States.

The primary issues we discussed highlighting are

  1. What does Building Community  support means to me….?
  2. Building community looks like….?
  3. What Does BUILDING COMMUNITY mean to us in the UK and to those in North America?

Award winning community activist John Stewart says… “We think is an important tour where a diverse range of groups – academic institutions; environmental organizations; faith groups; citizens’ action groups – will discuss the future role of aviation in both the USA and the UK. The tour will focus around John Stewart and Dan Glass, two experienced environmentalists from the UK. Dan Glass represents the critical interests of a younger generation of activists. We support his application for a visa to enter the United States and take part in the tour.”

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You can see some of the groups we are working with here: http://sowestand.com/usa/

Heres the itinerary so far…. Please get in contact if you would like to meet up and have any suggestions!

  • 1st – 12th October – Toronto organisers around airport expansion and its disproportionate affect on people of colour and working class communities
  • 12th – 15th October – Montreal meeting organisers around Anti Racism, environmental justice and building affordable housing community programmes
  • 16th – 18th October – Back to Hamilton, Ontario meeting organisers around poverty/ housing and food programmes which defy market-buyouts in areas affected by poverty and air pollution and the defiant mass market trader meetings, strikes and support programmes which toppled the bosses bland supermarket desires.
  • 19th – 28th October – Travel to Vancouver to skillshare with popular education and indigenous movements around multiracial organising.
  • 29th – 10th November – Up to Fort McMurray meeting organisers around tackling the Tar Sands and their grotesque contribution to aviation emissions (www.aviationjustice.org)

Community — v (ecology) a group of interdependent plants and animals inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other

As the welfare state draws back in Blighty

As the bells dreaming of a big society begin to fade,

How can we transform our communities to pro-actively say ‘NO’ to injustice in all its forms and ‘YES’ to demonstrating alternative support systems which support people, our right to protest and build strong communities?

As many elements of inequality in the UK and the North America rise -for the poor, the ill, the unemployed, ecosystems at large, the incarcerated, the disabled, the stigmatised, the marginalised and the simply different – where can we look to for ideas and actions which build a culture of community support?

Roll Up Ladies and Gentlemen……North America!

It’s your constitutional right to support yourself and your people. If anyone’s got wisdom to share on imaginative and dynamic community ‘survival’ programmes on a range of interconnected issues, it’s our friends across the pond. If there’s ever been a more pressing time it’s now.

Indeed its’ true, in times of crisis, North America may indeed be our best allies.

Equipped only with a pot of earl grey and doilies, community activists from Blighty will connect with some of the most inspiring community organisers and movements who are building a culture of community support  in North America (as well as their opposers)- to create a Big Society of Solidarity.

Every week (or as often as we can make it to a computer) we will transmit tactics for action straight to your teevee sets from the community actions we are involved in. We will virtually connect resilient communities in the UK and across North America all along the route.

But before we say goodbye to Albert Square and jump on the boat headed for the land of the free…we want to ask you, to share with our friends across the pond…..

  1. What does Building Community self-defence and support means to me….?
  2. Building community  looks like….? 

If you would like to be involved, either in the UK or in North America and want to join any part of the journey, host events and actions in your community in conjunction with the findings made, tactics shared to build a culture of community defence and support in your area please contact on sowestand@gmail.com or on 0044 (0) 7947478244

Community — v (ecology) a group of interdependent plants and animals inhabiting the same region and interacting with each other

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