非主流台灣:最新公告

Welcome to the 2010 Guerilla Girls Blog! We are the Guerilla Girls! We are 13 Hao Ran Foundation volunteers (all females!) and we will soon get to deploy our wings in different countries of the world to work with various non-governmental organizations and social movements as a way to reinforce social justice and solidarity. We wish to open communication and share our experience with the rest of the world, because we strongly believe that ‘ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!’ Read More

將文章轉換為簡體 動態調整字體大小 原字體 放大 再放大

2011年1月25日 星期二

The New Politics – Citizens UK


The New Politics – Citizens UK
Chao, Wen Chin
Self-respect arises only out of people who play an active role in solving their own crises and who are not helpless, passive, puppet-like recipients of private or public services. (Saul Alinsky)
To describe Citizens UK, we may begin from the slogan that they used most frequently: “Unlocking the power of civil society”
About civil society, no doubt, we know what it is, but what’s the “power” means? And why it’s been locked? In Taiwan, or any other democratic country, we do not usually think that our power has been locked, because through the fair election, we can directly decide the president or legislatives by voting. But somebody querying that “After the election, do we still have the political power?” If I’m very disappointed with the environment policies, or my community was suffered by the economic recession, do I have the political power to change the policies?
Obviously, If you have special relationships, you’re some Mr./Miss Big, then you may could have the opportunities to change something. But unfortunately, most of us are just ordinary people, the answer could only be absolutely “No”. Ironically, we, the ordinary people, are the one who is so vulnerable that even can’t take the wrong policy once(lay off, the reduction of social welfare or even rising the tuition fees) ,we are living beneath the social, political ,economic systems, but we can do nothing about the change happened on us. When we vote for the representatives, we’re using our power or, giving it out?
These kind of problems that the representatives can’t represent the people, or the low political efficacy made people don’t feel themselves could participate in public issues, they were always been discussed in a lot of political theories. And for a hundred years, just discussing.
Some political parties or organizations had some creative ideas to change this political situation in the members of Taipei council election in 2010. The Green Party in Taiwan, their candidates have to sign a treatment that promise they will stick by the “green politics” and open the resources and take responsibility to their people. Another group called “people the Boss”, they want to make people involve in the politics not only in the election, but also developing their political participation by having some groups discuss specific issues, after they have a common consensus about the issues and united by working together, they could participate the public issues all the time, not just during the election period. Although, all these candidates didn’t win the election, but it’s still a creative and educational way to rethink the meaning of contemporary democracy.
In the theory of community organizing, they have different views on democracy. They believe the democracy is not based on the voting, but the political participation, especially the participation of institutions (churches, neighbourhood associations, trade unions, temples, schools, faith groups, communities …etc). Only when ordinary people could play a part with politics through their institutions, they transform themselves as democratic citizens. Then the institution would be just a vehicle for ordinary people to change their society become a better one. Community organizing is a practical method of democracy, a skill to organize people working for the common good.
But why people did not organize? It must go back to the industrial revolution in 18th century, when the city started growing, the lack of interaction in communities became more serious, it made people going isolated in modern life, and because of isolation, the civil society can’t fight with the state and market.
When people were isolated, the institutions, communities, faith groups didn’t work together, but the state and some big enterprises worked in a well-organized way, it’s impossible for the individual to win on this crucial political battlefield.
As an individual person, I can’t change the policy, it is very frustrated, I can’t change the political, cultural or economic environment, I am nobody, the only thing I could do is voting, but it’s still not my game. When people start to feel that they can’t do nothing but waiting, their power was locked. Yes, people’s power were locked, although they have the right to vote, but most of them can’t participate public issues actively.
Saul Alinsky, a Chicago sociologist and criminologist, also the pioneer of modern community organizing theory, who found the IAF(Industrial Areas Foundation). He said “ The people can participate only if they have both the opportunity to formulate their program, which is their reason for participation, and a medium through which they can express and achieve their program.”
This is exactly what Citizens UK wants to achieve. London Citizens is the largest alliance of civil groups, more than 160 members (including schools, churches, mosques, charities and local organizations…) joined and renewed their membership in 2011. And they believe “Citizens are made and not born”, so it’s necessary to developing the leaders of members by giving training. Training the leader to be a good conciliator, a good facilitator in their own organization and a tough negotiator in political field.
If we want to unlock the power of civil society, we must have the powerful institutions, the powerful institutions would developing their main concern about their local community, and spread it statewide. That’s how those campaigns grow up in London Citizens, every steps was based on the people, and all the demands, just like living wage or city safe, these issues were entwined around the daily life of ordinary people. People do care their environment, if they have the opportunities to participate and make their own voices out loud.
It’s what Citizens UK called “new politics”, it’s totally different between the old one, the new one owned by active institutions, that means , active people. Because of community organizing, people are not only just assembled, and the more important point is, the “relationship” was established. Those organizations working collaboratively for the common good, they were not isolated anymore.
In the Methodist Central Hall, London, on 3rd May 2010, Citizens UK held a Citizens UK General Election Assembly. The leader of three main political party, including The Conservative Party, The Labour Party and Liberal Democrats, they all join this assembly and made their promise to the members of Citizens UK. In Dec 2010, the child detention was ended forever because Nick Clegg pledged on this assembly.
This experience has given those organizations more confidence to practice their value and ideal, to march the next step, to get closer to the destination they called it “new politics”.



video from Citizens UK http://www.citizensuk.org/

| 用RSS訂閱本站文章 | 《喜歡游擊女孩看世界的朋友們,可以透過上面的社群網站按鈕(噗浪、Facebook及Twitter)將我們的文章成果與您的朋友分享,或使用Email轉寄;也歡迎你「張貼意見」留言(請盡量勿選擇匿名),或是給我們文章評價》

初次來訪請參閱工具列:關於我們

0 意見:

 

游擊女孩看世界. Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved. Maintained by Tzuche Huang