Cath, Cornerstone

Cath, Cornerstone

Cornerstone Cath

25 November 2014Comment

Our Leeds-based cooperator mulls the politics of exclusion

Last year, my friend was thrown out of an eco-action gathering. I can still taste the anger I felt when I heard the news. The organisers were in their early 20s. My friend is retired and has been centrally involved in these gatherings (and in eco-defence) for nearly 20 years. My lips still set in a hard line and my jaw clenches as I think about it. I freely admit I jumped to several conclusions – I bet he behaved like an idiot. I bet they didn’t care who he was or what his history is. I bet…

28 September 2014Comment

Our Leeds-based cooperator is tipped over the edge at a Gaza demo

I don’t think I cry in public that often: just cinemas and theatres, weddings and funerals. Not demos – demos are for anger, for demonstrating coherent, rational opposition, for keeping your wits about you and being prepared for action. But when I saw the orthodox Jewish anti-Zionist bloc at the Gaza demo in Leeds, my throat tightened and the tears started running down my face. A friend appeared and I held on to them for about five minutes, sobbing. An unexpected reaction.

At the time…

21 July 2014Comment

How do you avoid the slippery slope of liberal excuses?

I lick my lips and my eyes flick to the ceiling before I answer: ‘£450 a day.’ I’ve been dreading this moment, of telling ‘a client’ that my daily rate is likely more than twice their weekly income. And here is ‘the client’, a group of new co-operators in a Bradford Community Centre that’s seen better days. I backtrack almost immediately – instead we agree a total figure for helping them to reach certain goals.

This daily rate is justifiable, indeed within my consortium of advisors we…

9 June 2014Comment

This has been a difficult email to write’. I can only see the first line of the email, but I know what it’s going to say. I slam the desk and swear loudly. Co-workers stare. I’m in a rush, I can’t deal with this now. I leave, cycle furiously into town and try to block it from my mind for the rest of the day.

In the majority world, we live in a strange social scene, where community is a fluid thing.

Unlike many other cultures, we make individual decisions about what’s best for…

8 June 2014Blog

A Leeds co-operator explores the pleasures and perils of Community Organising ...

My tummy tightens as I stand up for my turn.  'Why I am here'.  120 faces turn to me.  I take the microphone.  Shit.

I remembered to print all the agendas, the register sheets, I knew who should be there, I'd sorted out the IT/AV and music, I made sure the tea and coffee was happening and 90-odd chairs and tables were set up as planned.  I'd just forgotten to prepare this one little bit, this moment of inspiration and explanation, each advisory group member saying something…

3 April 2014Comment

Two days after Protag’s funeral, Ben says: ‘Did you hear Callum Millard’s died?’ I’m knocked sideways. Another one? But different this time. I struggle to dredge up ancient memories – was he there when we occupied the Lloyds bank in Leeds? Did he come on the Garforth anti-opencast occupation? I haven’t seen him properly in years, memories are elusive – I don’t know him any more.

But then the funeral – many old friends, many memories shared. Yes, he was the lock-picker and lock-…

1 November 2010Feature

Can we stop climate change without first overthrowing capitalism? PN sought views from around the movement.

Climate scientists have reached an international consensus that devastating runaway climate change is inevitable unless significant changes are made. How radical do these changes have to be? Is it possible to make these changes within the current framework of industrial capitalism? Below are edited highlights of responses from a variety of activists from radical movements – the full text of the interviews are available on the Peace News blog.

PN: In your view, can we halt runaway…

25 October 2010Blog

<p>Climate change and capitalism: Six points of view</p>

PN: How do you see the relationship between capitalism and climate change?

CC: I think they’re inherently linked because capitalism can only exist with continual growth based on turning natural resources, i.e. bits of planet, into money. And the way it does that is by chopping it up, excavating it, turning it into product, burning it, disposing of it. Basically whatever it takes, we’ll degrade, and that leads to climate change.

PN: Can we stop runaway climate change without…