Yesterday evening we were a guest in the Vondelbunker. A place that has hosted and celebrated subculture and resistance for the last 50 years. It was the monthly FAIR city monthly meet up. The Action Weekend of 28 & 29th of May drawing
closer, practical things have to be organized.
One major issue was the slogan on the poster. Principles are one thing, but what is the catch phrase? 'Yes', we can' of course is one of the best. Could we come up with something as engaging,
encouraging and moving as that? No we couldn't.
It seems easy: you have the ideas, the feeling, the conviction of how and what the FAIR city it should be. Narrowing it down though to what it is in a few words is difficult. The first problem
is not to say what you don't want. Saying no is a breeze compared to saying yes. No bombs, easy, who disagrees. Peace! Well, immediately everybody is talking about the conditions of the peace itself and having fights over it.
how to say Yes when you are used to No. In good direct democratic style we invited everybody to bring things to the floor. The right to the city, City not for sale, Stop the sale, save social housing. All of them valid and good points. They also show
an underlying assumption: that you are not in power and implore those that are to change their policies.
When we skipped negative and tried positive all the slogans changed to a sentence starting with we. We demand/claim/own/want, a fair/open/flexible
city. Some even added: back! referring to olden times. Not realizing that for the young this city is all they know. They don't want something back yet.
It started to get better. But still all kind of forms of appropriation crept
in. Implicitly putting someone or something else in power. Confusing rhetorics for a independent platform. Why was it so hard to imagine ourselves as a force that is acting, not asking?
We, the people, have been domesticated into seeing
ourselves as the demanding party. Not the ruling one. I scared the pants of two loyal party members by suggesting to get rid of representative democracy all together. But what next? they exclaimed: dictatorship, fascism?
what next? This is the challenge for our time. To come up with alternatives for individualism and consumerism and fear fueled obedience. It has to do with trusting our ability to come up with solutions that are not rules nor an open invitation to abuse.
Non political opportunistic fairness.
After another half our of heated discussion we decided because we had to. What we agreed on?
WE WANT THE CITY. Word up!