- Date published:
9:03 pm, November 1st, 2017 - 8 comments
Categories: activism, democratic participation, political alternatives, Politics, Social issues - Tags: activism, organise, picnic, POP!
I met with one of the women who initially put out a call for a Picnic on Poverty at the Dunedin Public Gardens. I asked her about some of the ideas behind POP! (Yes, apparently there’s an exclamation mark!)
She said the idea wasn’t so much about organising something for people as about suggesting a relaxed and friendly space or place, where people could come and share thoughts or ideas around stuff important to them. (People Or Planet and anything in between?)
For reasons that should become obvious, she’d prefer to remain anonymous.
Picnic on Poverty!, if I picked things up correctly, might refer to poor people having a picnic regardless of their poverty. Or it might refer to possible discussions being had by people at a picnic. Or it might simply be the most fitting from a number of possible permutations of the acronym POP! – People Over Profit! (TPP?), Protect Our Planet (climate change etc?).
It might even be all of the above and more – or just an excuse to enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon in the sun and perhaps enjoy some impromptu entertainment.
I’ve looked at the facebook page for the event and read some other possible meanings of POP!, including Piss Off Paddy! (I liked that one)
Anyway. In saying I’d write something to help get word out, it was impressed on me that this is for and about people, and that there are no political organisations calling the shots, and no ideological lines designed to tie people down.
In other words (my words) POP! is like an open book that anyone can write in and that anyone can read from. There is no clique – and there will be no clique – trying to tell anyone what to think, or what to say, or how to talk.
For me, the first steps of organising involve a certain “gathering of thoughts and people”. Without oversight, ideas evolve and set directions in response to various circumstances.
If you’ve difficulties understanding that concept, then maybe the following short video will offer some elucidation.
Why not pop along on the 5th of November? “Let’s begin this!” (h/t Jacinda)
I’m taking the risk of POB! (as in Piss off Bill) but I was just reading a 2014-article in the Guardian (yes, I know) on Francis Fukuyama (yes, I know) and in it was a passage that I believe ties in with POP!
I hope it will be a great gathering of people on the 5th.
BTW, I reckon POP! stands for Power of People! or People of Power! …
God I detest Fukuyama and his bullshit.
What he’s saying there doesn’t make any sense. Something that doesn’t cohere fragments? Well. How does it fragment unless it cohered?
Anyway. I kind of fail to see what Fukuyama says has to do with people getting along to a space and meeting with others who may be of a like mind and who may share similar takes on some things.
Are you suggesting (by way of the Fukuyama quote) that people ought not to communicate with one another if they aren’t meeting under some narrowly defined and acceptable ideological banner (ie a coherent ideological challenge to the right)?
Hoping for the sky to crack open and something like some fella with instructions all chiseled into stone it is then….
There’ll be some people – several, or maybe a dozen or so. I don’t think anyone’s expecting a crush at the gates of the Botanic’s or anything like that, y’know?
These things, as always, begin small.
” communicate with one another if they aren’t meeting under some narrowly defined and acceptable ideological banner (ie a coherent ideological challenge to the right)? ” No more family dinners for me then 😉
No surprises there 😉
I do feel some regret that I made the comment (a mis-calculated risk) but I’d like to correct one thing; the passage I quoted was not from Fukuyama but from the person (Eliane Glaser) who wrote the (critical) piece on Fukuyama (mainly).
And no, I was not suggesting what you think, at all …
I think I’d better leave it at that.
Boids provides some interesting metaphors:
What happens when a boid tries to lead the flock?
That said, Fukuyama’s remark: “Leaderless and programme-light, dissent keeps failing to cohere” applies most of the time.
The boids thing is good. Simple initial conditions giving rise to complexity. Yup.
Not so keen on the anodyne stuff from Fukuyama though.
Having nothing much to say ‘(programme light’) and having no idea (‘leaderless’) doesn’t make for widespread dissent. Someone should pay that man money for the stuff he writes…
For “programme light” read “simple initial conditions”, for “dissent” read “change of leadership”.
I think this metaphor has done enough hard labour 🙂
For “programme light” read…
Y’know, when you make an omelette, the idea is to separate the egg shells out – not throw the whole caboodle into a blender along with whatever else you can casually lay your hands on. 😉