Hi there folks!
Just to give a quick head’s up that next week’s update may either be out a few days early or a few days late as several of us will be taking a wee break for the weekend. As ever if you know of any events the details on how to let us know are at the bottom of this update.
And so without further ado…
Cancer: Debunking the Conspiracies – Dr Vicky Forster | Glasgow Skeptics
Monday, 21 April at 19:00–21:30
The Admiral Barn 72a Waterloo Street, G2 7DA
Millions of pounds is poured into cancer research and drug development every year and although cure rates for many forms of cancer have improved dramatically in the last fifty years, some remain exceptionally hard to treat. An increasing number of passionate cancer conspiracy theorists claim that ‘the cure’ has already been found and is being suppressed because big pharmaceutical companies are unable to make any money from it. They also believe that unproven alternative therapies are better than conventional treatment and are behind a number of misleading campaigns touting these therapies, endangering the lives of patients and the reputations of big cancer charities, doctors and researchers.
This talk will aim to address misunderstandings about what cancer is, look for any evidence behind the most popular touted ‘alternative cancer therapies’ and hopes to stimulate discussion as to why there are a growing number of people who believe in these largely-unfounded conspiracies.
Dr. Vicky Forster is a cancer research scientist at Newcastle University, and a survivor of childhood cancer. She is also a passionate blogger for a large cancer charity and tweets a lot about her own work and demanding evidence for alternative cancer treatments and therapies.
THE MEETING THEY TRIED TO BAN! HOUSING IS IN CRISIS: WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Tuesday, April 22 at 1900 – 2100
St. Mungo’s Academy, 235 Crownpoint Road, Bridgeton, Glasgow, G40 2RA
The Commonwealth Games 2014 and the Clyde Gateway regeneration project promise a supply of new housing in the East End, but do their figures stack up? We think that the (shelved) plan to blow up the Red Road flats in a live stream to a global audience at the opening ceremony was no mere anomaly. It was a precise indication of the City Council’s contempt for social housing.
Initially 1,400 homes were promised on the Games village site, but this figure has now been reduced to 700 homes. Only 300 of these homes have been allocated for ‘social rent’ yet we estimate around 3,000 people have been removed from the Dalmarnock area in the recent past through disinvestment and demolition. The ‘new community’ on the Clyde is obviously displacing the old one rather than adding to it.
The Clyde Gateway regeneration project initially promised 10,000 homes. But when we pressed them they admitted that the figure had been ‘made up’ to obtain government grant funding, and that they had no idea whether they would be private or social tenure. Now, there is no mention of the 10,000 figure on their publicity materials at all, suggesting the old truth that the promises attached to large-scale regeneration projects tend to be ‘codswallop’.
None of this should come as a surprise. UK and Scottish policy on housing has been dominated by the eradication of social housing. The stock transfer of all Glasgow’s council housing to Glasgow Housing Association in 2003 was probably the largest public privatisation project in Europe. Since then, massive budget cuts for Housing Associations and the drive towards the private market have drastically reduced the amount of social housing. Between 1991 and 2008, private sector housing in the city grew by around 60,000 homes, while social housing was reduced by roughly the same amount. The trend towards housing privatisation is only accelerating. See our housing primer for more evidence.
What does all this mean?
Gentrification. Rent is killing us. Half of people’s disposable income is taken up by rent in the UK. Welfare cuts mean that rent can no longer be covered by the unemployed. Not only poor people, but almost everyone struggles to pay the rent and pay off mortgages. The tyranny of debt reigns everywhere. We have no control over the way we house ourselves while property speculators and landlords turn huge profits.
What can we do about it?
(1) We can start discussing the housing crisis so that we have a clear understanding of the problem. The invited speakers will describe in detail the housing situation in the East End, and more generally in Glasgow, Scotland and the UK. They will discuss some of the problems that face the housing movement and potential ways to overcome these problems drawing on successful examples. By blocking our late meeting in Bridgeton, they have tried to shut down the legitimate grievances of local people. All welcome in the East End and beyond who want to discuss the housing crisis.
(2) We can begin to organise together. The lesson from other large-scale regeneration events is that benefits will only come to local populations when they are organised. They will not drop from the sky – despite the usual promises. We want to get involved with other people fighting housing campaigns and those who want to start that fight.
Sarah Glynn: housing activist and author of ‘Where the Other Half Lives: Lower Income Housing in a Neoliberal World’/Susan Fitzpatrick and Neil Gray: Glasgow Games Monitor 2014/More to follow…
Organised by: Glasgow Games Monitor 2014
Lynne Friedli on mental health and the psychologising of social justice in Scotland
Wednesday, April 23 at 6:30pm
The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, G51 3UU (opposite Govan underground)
Join us for our latest ‘library chat’, an informal roundtable conversation in the convivial surroundings of our library in the Pearce Institute. There will be space and time for general discussion and input from all participants. Light refreshments provided.Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm attendance. RSVP essential.
Dr Lynne Friedli is a freelance researcher, with a special interest in the relationship between mental health and the struggle for social justice. She is author of a report for World Health Organisation Europe on Mental health, resilience and inequality http://www.euro.who.int/document/e92227.pdf and has contributed to the forthcoming WHO Europe Strategy on Mental Health.
Lynne is interested in current debates about the politics of ‘assets based approaches’ and the psychologising of public health, and is currently researching the use of psychological approaches in workfare and other employment programmes.
Grow Your Own Course
Thursday, April 24 – June 12 Starts at 6:00pm Ends at 8:00pm
Pacitti Community Garden, Stanley Street, G41 1JA
This is a free course but booking is essential. To book a place please contact email@example.com or call 07810 540 379
Grow Your Own is a 16 hour course, taught over 8 weeks that covers a wide range of topics around gardening and specifically growing your own food, including:
- Site observation, planning and site design
- Propagating, taking cuttings and root division.
- Growing on, planting out, crop families and rotations
- Composting, pests and diseases, harvest and saving seed.
We will be looking at how best to bring on vegetables, herbs, fruit and shrubs within the growing spaces that are available to us as urban gardeners. We can also work together to help further develop the Pacitti Community Garden as well as our own growing spaces. This is a chance to get to know the wonderful Pacitti Garden and to meet some of the local community there.
Sessions will be held every Thursday evening from 6 to 8pm at the Pacitti Garden, Stanley Street (off Paisley Rd. West,) starting on 24th April. All are welcome.
Glasgow Against Atos Monthly Picket
Friday, 25 April at 12:30pm – 03:00pm
Atos Assessment Centre, Corunna House, 29 Cadogan Street, Glasgow G2 7RD
We are Glasgow Against Atos, a dynamic campaign group, defending the sick and disabled. We have been picketing the Atos, Glasgow assessment centre since early 2012.
Please come and join us in fighting Atos, the DWP and the government cuts against disabled people, their families and carers.
The weather is getting better – so no excuses, and we’ll see you all outside the assessment centre. All welcome!
FREE PUBLIC WALK IN THE EAST END
Saturday, April 26 at 12:45pm – 05:00pm
Meet at Bridgeton Cross Umbrella, Bridgeton
Organised by Glasgow Games Monitor 2014: http://gamesmonitor2014.org/
Regeneration is always imposed from above by local councils, government, land developers and property agents. The organisers of the Commonwealth Games 2014 and Clyde Gateway regeneration projects tell us that everyone will gain a social and economic legacy from the Games and redevelopment in the East End. But is that true?
We say that ‘regeneration’ is just a sugar-coated name for gentrification: the working of land and property markets and the displacement of poor people for ‘higher end’ values. Large mega-events and regeneration projects like the Commonwealth Games and Clyde Gateway are prime examples of that process.
Find out for yourselves! Join Glasgow Games Monitor 2014 and local residents on a public walk – we call it ‘territorial inquiry’ – to investigate these claims.
In a collective investigation from below, we will examine the power relations and money behind planning and policy documents, regeneration agencies, land ownership, housing privatisation, welfare ‘austerity’, and the organisations that claim to represent community members.
We will emphasise first of all the experiences of those most directly affected by urban development (compulsory purchase, displacement, closure of vital services, environmental disruption, road-building, etc). Rather than looking above for solutions to these problems, we aim to discuss and organise collectively with all those who struggle against urban injustice. The lesson from similar regeneration projects is that local people get the best outcome from these processes when they understand the reality of ‘regeneration’ and organise effectively.
ALL WELCOME. ESPECIALLY LOCAL RESIDENTS
Glasgow Games Monitor 2014: http://gamesmonitor2014.org/
Doctor Who Day
26 April at 12:00–15:00
The Imaginarium, 257a Saracen Street, G22 5JX
We are hosting a community event to celebrate the fact that the new Dr Who (Peter Capaldi) went to school in Possilpark.
The people of Possilpark are going to transform two BT Telephone boxes into Tardis.
Several local schools and community groups will be designing the inner functions of the tardis and using their imaginations to illustrate what Possil might be like 100 years from now.
The event will encourage people to have conversations with ‘people in the future’, as well as celebrate Possil’s past by time travelling in conversations.
Depot Arts will provide free live break dance performances from Cyber Men, beatbox workshops in radiophonic sounds and galafrayan grafitti writing workshops.
We will have exhibitions from Glasgow Science Centre looking at the human body and Glasgow Open Museum’s Enigma Handling Kit.
Bring your friends and family to have a cuppa tea in the future? You may even be able to eat some alien food.
Glasgow Food Swap
26 April at 14:00–16:00
Govanhill Baths, 99 Calder Street, Glasgow, G42 7RA
For those of you who have never been to a food swap, a food swap works on the same basis as speed dating..except with food: you spend some time seeing what food is available, then you fill in a sheet saying what food you would like to swap with….and the exciting thing is you get to take your new food home.
Don’t worry if you aren’t the best cook, the whole point is to encourage each other to cook and to improve your cooking skills in a fun way.
Try and bring a few things that you can swap, but you don’t need to bring masses of food. Don’t worry if you think your food isn’t ‘exciting’, someone else may think otherwise. For example you could bring:
cooked food – eg bread, curries, cakes;
preserves eg jam and chutney;
Plants you have grown eg baby tomato plants, herbs etc etc
….But please bring home-made, home-grown or foraged food, not food bought from the shops.
Everyone is welcome, so long as you bring something with you to exchange.
The event is FREE, but we would welcome a small donation to cover the cost of hiring the venue.
We will also be accepting a donation of vegetarian food for the Kagyu Samye Dzong Homeless Soup Kitchen. Unfortunately they are unable to accept home-cooked food due to health and safety. Any other donation would be gratefully appreciated.
Booking is essential.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
Thursday, May 1 at 12:30pm
Junction of Buchanan Street and Gordon Street
Clydeside IWW, Glasgow Anarchist Federation, Glasgow Against Atos, Glasgow Solidarity Network and a host of other groups and campaigns will be out with their stalls and information to mark International Workers Day and highlight working class struggles past and present.
Information on the origins of Mayday: http://www.iww.org/history/library/misc/origins_of_mayday
Radical Workers Bloc of Mayday March
Sunday, May 4 at 11:30am
South West corner of George Square (opposite Greggs)
Clydeside IWW will be assembling to take part in the STUC post-mayday march, and welcome any radical workers to join them on the march itself, and then for an informal social after the march in Mono (10-12 King’s Court, King Street, G1 5RB).
Information on the origins of Mayday: http://www.iww.org/history/library/misc/origins_of_mayday
BENEFIT SANCTIONS & FOOD POVERTY
Wednesday, May 7 at 2:00pm – 8:00pm
GCVS Albany Centre, 44 Ashley Street, G3 6DS
FOOD HUB SPECIAL EVENT
2pm Wednesday 7th May at the Albany Centre
Limited spaces so please book in advance via http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/woodlands-community-garden-5239172271
One of the largest causes of the recent increase in food poverty has been has been the ever harshening system of sanctions imposed on benefit claimants. This free event will bring together individuals, community groups and advice organisations to discuss what can be done to both support individuals who have been sanctioned and to challenge the unfairness of the sanctions system.
2-5pm Speakers, stalls, workshops and discussion
Workshop topics confirmed as:
A) Food Aid and Resilient Communities
B) Effective Campaigning
C) Sanctions and the Scottish Welfare Fund
5-6pm Carry on the conversation over a cuppa
6-8 pm Free Food Hub Dinner for people experiencing hardship
(Full programme to follow shortly.)
18 May at 14:00–16:00
GMAC Glasgow,103 Trongate, G1 5HD
Meeting for people in Glasgow who want to oppose unconventional gas. Discussion includes idea to launch campaign to get local councils on board to refuse permission to the dirty gas companies. Updates from Falkirk, Canonbie, North Lanarkshire. Update from FoE. More fundraising ideas.