Meetings, seminars, conferences…who doesn’t love ‘em? We do them at work, and we do them in campaigns. And the end result of all of it is…?
We don’t need to go too far back in history to see actions that are memorable, had an impact, made a difference and changed our world, even if only in a small way. For instance, in 1971 in Media, Pennsylvania USA, a group calling itself the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI broke into the local FBI office and stole over 1000 classified documents. They then sent this information to mainstream media and antiwar publications, and information got out that would not have otherwise. As Chomsky noted:
“According to [the Citizens’ Commission] analysis of the documents in this FBI office, 1 percent were devoted to organized crime, mostly gambling; 30 percent were ‘manuals, routine forms, and similar procedural matter’; 40 percent were devoted to political surveillance and the like, including two cases involving right-wing groups, ten concerning immigrants, and over 200 on left or liberal groups. Another 14 percent of the documents concerned draft resistance and ‘leaving the military without government permission.’ The remainder concerned bank robberies, murder, rape, and interstate theft.” [link to Chomsky article]
While there is no record of any meetings, memos, mission statements, etc from the Citizens’ Commission, it is likely that there was some sort of planning involved in carrying out an operation like this. But there is no doubt that the operation was carried out, and the effects were far-reaching: five years later, the Church Committee of the US Congress revealed the extent of domestic spying by the FBI and CIA, and it is unlikely that we would know of the FBI’s COINTELPRO programme otherwise.
There’s nothing wrong with planning – in fact, it’s hard to get anything done otherwise. But we need to know what we are planning for, and sometimes, we just need to do things.
Oatlands Leisure Gardens had a very successful Open Day yesterday. A lot of people attended and signed up for a space, which makes our argument to the developer Gladedale and the Council's "Regeneration" Department stronger. We say that they should build the proposed new allotment space (which would be much smaller) and keep the existing plots. Gladedale seems hellbent on building on the allotment space, even though the flats they are building aren't selling.
Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera, but photos were taken and I'll post them up as soon as I get them.
If anyone is interested in seeing the allotments, email me, or ring me on my mobile: 07506867356. As Oatlands allotments are classed as "Private" as opposed to council allotments, you don't need to live near them to get a spot. You would be put on a waiting list and a lot would depend on how well we do in our struggle to keep these plots.
UPDATED: Here are some pics from the Open Day.
There's so much going on in Glasgow now, it can be hard to keep track of it. I was thinking a map woudl be useful - I've started one in Google, cos its easy to use, but I'm not so keen on using corporate stuff. Anyway, a simpler, more stylised map would be easier to look at and understand, like a subway map, but that's beyond my capabilities. Any ideas?
Here's the link (btw, I've only put up a few things, there will be many more to add):
(updated link as per note below - thanks bob!)