A PROPOSSAL FOR AN ALTERNATIVE
FORUM AND A "SUSTAINABLE" CITY FALLING DOWN TO PIECES
Last February there happened to
be in Sevilla a "Euromediterranean Conference on Sustainable Cities" That
was organized by Sevilla City Council, and since they did not invite anyone
else apart from professional politicians and developers, we had to organize
something on our own.
There were alternative meetings, conferences and the like... and there was a fiambrera propossal to join some people and work on other level. We choose La Alameda, a barrio in the center of Sevilla, with all the expectable circumstances: years of abandonment, bad housing and a growing rate of evictions as a preparation for a massive assault of developers and gentrifiers.
We were some sixty people and had
some 30.000 pesetas (250 us doll.)
We organized five groups and worked on different issues, trying to relate all of results through the use of some common elements.
It was of a central importance to
be able to offer a common image for the whole alternative forum, something
that was cheap, efective, politically significant, and aesthetically
well built. After observing our surroundings we came to this:
"Si 8 Do", is more or less the contrary
of the official motto of the Sevilla Council.
This one reads "No 8 Do", which must be read as "Thou have not abandonned me" and it is a reference to a distinction that some medieval king gave to Sevilla.
The motto is on absolutely everything in Sevilla: buses, uniforms, street posts... and quite obviously ours means "thou have abandonned me".
We started using these little flags with the changed motto, just by placing them on every dog-shit we found in the street, and there were hundreds of them.
Fiambrera should register the "dog-shit index" as a sociological and urbanistic tool to detect the availability of green areas (none at all in our barrio) and the degree of abandonment of a district (months and months without any cleaning brigade).
Of course this action was widely
commented on the local press and among the neighbours who had to realize
how their barrio was subject to an scheduled degradation and how evictions
would soon be following.
In this aspect and as soon as we
started working in the barrio we discovered some places where people would
know whatwe were talking about more quickly:
That was the case with the calle Arrayan, a narrow street leding to the barrio market. A narrow street taht was threatened by a big wall, some ten metres high, that had been falling to pieces for years (in sevilla some months before another wall like that had fallen suddenly and killed several people)
We decided to organize something there, and together with the neigbours we cameto the concept of "experimental wall":
a wall whose falling over the people crossing the street would be used to test some security systems against falling walls: plastic helmets for instance:
So we got our plastic helmets, put the Si 8 Do motto on them (people already recognizing the same initiative as in the dog-shit flags: Los de las mierdas! los de las mierdas!) and we arranged two tables on each end of the street, so when anybody went through that street he/she would be asked kindly, on behalf of the city council, to wear the helmet while passing through, just in case the wall could fall.
The reactions would vary widely: from obedience to insults to the supossed council members offering the helmets...till they realized about the Si 8 Do motto...
After the days working there, the
most important result to us has been the creation of autonomous groups
able to deal with some of the tools we introduced,
So, on the commonly saturated environment
of the barrio, it was easy to realize how many of these yellow blackboards
(yellowboards, should we say?) there were.
They announced the supposed agreement to build low-cost houses, and had been there for over a year without any result.
So one of our groups started intervening all of them systematically and with some days of interval among them. That carried us to a massive media campaign and a debate on the housing policy in La Alameda.
Which came to mean: "If you are not registered: you are nobody"
Which says: "You may well be registered, and even so you are nobody when gentrification comes"
This has been a tool ever since
for a kind of evictions alarm committee people in La Alameda have organized,
sometimes it has got us some crucial minutes to contact other people and
get stronger avoiding evictions:
Hay más cosas y las iremos subiendo a la red. Ahí lo vemos.
Mientras tanto sugerimos una visita a la web del ayuntamiento de sevilla (sevilla.org) para que vayáis viendo lo que se nos viene encima.
Web del Ayuntamiento de Sevilla
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