‘Another World Is Possible’ Event @ Irish Seed Savers Centre in Scariff, Co Clare on Sat Dec 3

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As Eyre Square remains ‘Occupied’ by citizens anxious to change the way the system works, the Scariff-based Irish Seed Savers Association (ISSA) and Galway One World Centre (GOWC) are hosting an all day gathering which will consider how that alternative system might look.

‘Another World Is Possible – reflections on power, seeds and change’ will combine debate, fine  music and local food at the Irish Seed Savers centre in Scariff, Co Clare on Saturday Dec 3 from 10am to 5pm. Children welcome. A free event. The gathering will feature John Holloway, Jo Newton,  Pat O’Donnell, Saul Mosbacher, Alphonse Basogomba and Deirdre Ni Argain.

At lunchtime the pizza oven will be be fired up as the county’s finest fiddlers, Tommy Hayes, Vincent Griffin and Mark Donnellan display their extraordinary talents alongside Kinvara-based singer Sharon Murphy and friends.

Guest speaker is renowned author John Holloway, born in Ireland, who has spent the past twenty years living in Mexico where he teaches Sociology at the Autonomous University of Puebla. John’s ideas are expressed in numerous articles and books, notably Crack Capitalism (Pluto 2010) and ‘Change the world without taking power (Pluto 2002).

One of the key questions raised in his work is the issue of change as a struggle against power, rather than a struggle for power. In this he coincides with the new wave of global activism, the Occupy movements which have recently sprouted from Iceland to Illinois, from Eyre Square to Barcelona. John Holloway believes that the struggle for change is rooted in our everyday lives, departing from the traditional belief that the takeover of the state is essential to changing the world.

History teaches us that when the new governing class takes power, the new bureaucrat-politicos quickly learn the language, logic and calculations of power. The ongoing U-turns in the Fine Gael/Labour coalition and the surrender of sovereignty to international finance offers fresh proof of this trend.

Jo Newton, Seedkeeper at the ISSA, embodies the possibility of self reliance as a lived alternative to dependence on the corporate food giants. Jo’s experience is the starting point for taking back control of key aspects of our lives. Jo will introduce the gathering to the seedsaver organisation, walking us through the grounds, offering an overview of seeds and seed banks.

Pat O’Donnell, alias ‘the chief’, has been fishing the Erris coastline from the age of 14… when the Corrib Gas project was announced he feared  for his livelihood and for the safety of the seas which have nourished his community for generations. Pat was once rewarded by the state for his bravery in a cave rescue operation, winning high praise for his active citizenship. Once he began asking questions about Shell’s gas pipeline however, he has been rewarded with  harassment, a beating and imprisonment. In June 2009 his boat the Iona Isle sank in mysterious circumstances. The maritime casualty investigation board refused to investigate the incident.

Alphonse Basogomba, based in Ennis, is coordinator of Clare Intercultural network and lives in direct provision, Ireland’s contemporary version of the industrial school where asylum seekers are warehoused in grim conditions and expected to be grateful for the consideration. Alphonse will give  an account of life under direct provision with a particular emphasis on food issues.

Saul Mosbacher is a seed collector based near Feakle who manages the Celt Tree nursery and has extensive experience in natural building, using cob, straw bale and other sustainable local materials. Saul will present his vision of alternative building possibilities.

Deirdre Ni Argain is an artist based  in Kilmaley, Co Clare, working since the 1980s in a variety of settings. Over the past decade Deirdre has been working in palliative care at Milford Care Centre…she will be using art materials to reflect upon and respond to whatever the day raises for people.

‘In the beginning is not the word but the scream’, writes John Holloway, echoing Indian writer Arundhati Roy, who has spoken of the need for a ‘feral howl’ in the face of injustice and indignity.

One world where many worlds fit. Scariff, the starting point…

This free event runs from 10am to 5pm, donations gratefully received. Further info, contact Trish at 091-530590 or write to admin@galwayowc.org Advance booking recommended.

 

One Response

  1. DERMOT MCKINNEY

    December 1, 2011 2:51 pm

    Occupy wall street versus voting

    There is no doubt that Occupy Wall Street , and the sister demos around the world, is a story of our time. Just like Woodstock and the street demonstrations were of the late 1960s in Europe and the USA. For all their songs and voices, for all the demonstrations, for all the promises of that time nothing changed because of it, the songs endure, the memories a mere bagatelle and the demonstrators during that time…. well they are our leaders now they are the ones that have helped to create the upheaval and the havoc in the past number of years and they have driven capitalism down the same road as communism…. to a cul-de-sac of bankruptcy. It is a a gross irony that communism and capitalism both imploded for the same major reason… greed among the leaders.

    If the street protests of the 1960s and the world wide Wall Street protests now have shown is that we all have a lot of questions but few of us have the answers. We need to listen to OWS, we need to ask the questions but where OWS falls down is that it has no answers. This is not a criticism of the movement it did not set out to provide answers, just like in the 1960s. If I have a criticism of the OWS movement participants ( the world wide movement) it is this: what do you do on election day?…..Do you vote?

    Once the right questions are asked then the hard work is done all we need then is to put in place the system that will give us the answers. OWS is a unique platform for the questions. We must all admire the cooperative spirit of the movement. If the movement achieves nothing else it proved that human interaction and human respect is not dead.

    However, we have the system in place…… it is called Democracy…. and together with its sister Capitalism there is no finer system. I am talking about real democracy and real capitalism not the one that the OWS movement is asking questions about.

    Real democracy is one where all participate all the time.

    Think of yourself as the head of the Human Resources Department in a big firm, every five years the staff must come to you to have their contract renewed, or not. It is now five years since an employee had such a performance review and you are really looking forward to getting rid of him/her . After all you, as human resources manger, have done nothing but satirised this employee, sneered at them, rightly criticised their very poor performance, their lack of aptitude for the job , their inefficient and incompetent ways. There are many potentially great candidates for the job and it is your responsibility to ensure the right person gets the job… pick the wrong person and you are totally to blame for the consequences. And guess what?….That is correct you renew the contract, after all the sneering, all the problems, all the lies , all the false promises ….YOU, yes YOU, yes me the reader sitting in front of this computer screen had the power to tell this politician enough is enough I am going to use my hard earned vote to help elect a credible candidate for this job. The job being my representative in parliament / the senate/ congress.. call it what you will. The bottomline.. …elect Bozo the clown and you get the circus.

    Elect people with the right attitude, knowledge-base, skill, aptitude, ability and genuine motivation and you get social democracy with social capitalism. Here is the crucial bit…. democracy does not mean voting every number of years and then going back to sleep. Democracy is participatory. Deciding who you are going to vote for is more than an X marked on a ballot paper, it is an X on a ballot paper with full transparency and regulatory devises to ensure it is by, for and with you.

    Voting is not a 30 second activity it runs for the duration of the parliament, it is about the responsibility of deciding who you are voting for, the reasons for voting for them the consequences of that vote AND

    it will save you a lot of time and energy, by participating you will not have to camp out in the cold and dark asking a lot of questions of your politicians, the answer you will get and the answer to the OWS demonstrations and indeed of the 1960s demonstrations is that YOU sold yourself short by participating in the democratic process for a mere 30 seconds every 5 years or …… and then there are those that did not even spend that 30 seconds and now they have lots of questions. some people spend more time deciding what they will have for Sunday lunch than who will represent them in parliament.

    There is nothing special about this 30 second activity. No need to get all soggy eyed about how your forefathers fought and died for this right, after all, this is a ritual that is also carried out in communist countries, left and right wings dictatorships and by other despotic regimes. The difference is that they have no right to choose the candidates they want and we do not use our right to choose.

    Our business leaders reflex that choice of political leader we vote for ( birds of a feather flock together). We have seen in the past number of years, and indeed right up to today, that these business people think they are invincible and some have diced with our livelihoods, gambled away our secure futures and have lost billions in the process not only have they not had to answer for these crimes, they are still in top career posts.

    The OWS movements has more questions than it has the time to ask, it is a start but my question again… what did you do on polling day?… What will you do on election day next time? And how will you fill out that job performance review of the politicians next term.