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Galwegians are Reclaiming Galway's Streets

category galway | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Tuesday May 19, 2009 23:44author by hatboyauthor email thestreetgig at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Free Fun, Free Food, Free Stuff!

featured image
Reclaim the Streets
"Another World is Possible"

On Saturday Afternoon, Galwegians and their friends from around the country and world, came together on newly renamed (by us), Anti-Shop Street, to take back our space from the capitalist, consumerist culture which has taken it over, with its bizarre ideas of a life dedicated to shopping, spending, buying and profit, so that we could share an experience of another world, where everything is free, people share and give food, fun, stuff and life, simply because they can and it just feels good!

"Free Food, Free Stuff, Free Fun, Free Social Interaction, Free World for Everyone", was the chant of the day, encouraging everyone to join in the fun. 'Feck Money' could also be heard every now and again, amongst the joyful shouting and whooping! The event started at 1.30pm, when a 'Really Really Free Market', magically appeared out of nowhere; clothes, videos, toys, teddies, cards, matches, markers, crayons, zines and more were all decked out on a table and offered to bemused passers-by - for free. Confused by the idea of free stuff, those who were afraid to ask were left wondering 'what's the catch?' Needless to say, there was none. Just a group of people who believe in a better world where gifts can be given freely, and the only profit sought is the joy of making others happy. They were promptly joined by Galway Food-Not-Bombs, (who share vegetarian food and messages of peace and a better society, with the public), to feed the participants and onlookers with lovely vegetarian soup, bread and amazing cookies at the REAL recession busting price of no euros and no cents!

Participants decorated Anti-Shop street with colourfull banners letting people know "Another World is Possible", encouraging them to "Spend Less, Give More", inviting them to "Celebrate Our Streets" and one suggesting that we should just "Feck Money!" Others decorated the ground, chalking messages such as "Capitalism Kills", until the Gardai informed them it was illegal!

Galway Shell to Sea, who know all about the urgent need to reclaim control over our own lives, environment and resources, came out to participate and spread the word about the Rossport Solidarity Camp's June Bank Holiday Gathering, coming up on May 29th.

Entertainment was abundant with random individuals showing off and teaching their juggling and poi skills, traditional Irish music, Capoeira dancing with accompanying music, people playing chess, others blowing bubbles, DIY art with home-made natural paints. And, how better to interact and have fun on our streets then to play Twister! Plus lots of other fun and random stuff...

It was about two hours before traffic wardens arrived to try and kill the fun. Unable to give out parking tickets, due to our inconsiderate lack of licence plate numbers, they made a poor attempt at taking our Twister. Then the Gardai were called in to deal with our menacing antics. The first Garda on the scene told us we had to move the Twister because we were blocking the street. We politely refused and argued that these were our streets and people seemed to be getting by just fine. Shortly thereafter, five to six guards huddled on the opposite corner, obviously a bit unsure of what they should or could do. They no doubt were grateful when the free water arrived in abundance from the sky. Not ready to give up just yet we continued on playing wet Twister for twenty minutes, taking full advantage of all the free water before wrapping it all up with a lot of cheering, clapping and a great sense of achievement.

We had Reclaimed the Street if only for a few hours and we'll do it again and again and again....,

To find out more about Galway Reclaim the Streets or get involved in the next one contact thestreetgig@gmail.com

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author by lulupublication date Mon May 18, 2009 09:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to see some life celebrating on the streets of Galway!

author by Minniepublication date Mon May 18, 2009 12:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I like the alternative name, Anti-Shop Street. Don't be a shopaholic - get cheap clothes, shoes, books and things from the charity shops. Stop shopping and start living.

author by galwaypublication date Tue May 19, 2009 03:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

upload please

hoisting banners- after quite awhile evergreen asked us to remove them, but they were up for most of the day.
hoisting banners- after quite awhile evergreen asked us to remove them, but they were up for most of the day.

author by galwaypublication date Tue May 19, 2009 03:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its working now! enjoy these lovely photos of a lovely day, and again if you have any please upload them.

lots of passersby joined in the fun, whether for the free soup, the free social interaction or of course, the twister
lots of passersby joined in the fun, whether for the free soup, the free social interaction or of course, the twister

celebrate our streets!
celebrate our streets!

another world is possible! ...one with free soup and jugglers. ps that man is definitely an anarchist
another world is possible! ...one with free soup and jugglers. ps that man is definitely an anarchist

the really really free market! spend less, give more
the really really free market! spend less, give more

chess, bubble blowing, and really tall juggling. what more could a person want?
chess, bubble blowing, and really tall juggling. what more could a person want?

author by galwaypublication date Tue May 19, 2009 03:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

these are the last of the ones we have, but i think there are loads more.

the gardai were not happy.
the gardai were not happy.

twister!
twister!

author by photographerpublication date Wed May 20, 2009 01:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

wonderful day, let's do it again soon!

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author by photographerpublication date Wed May 20, 2009 02:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

enjoy!

free zines!
free zines!

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Capoeria
Capoeria

author by photographerpublication date Wed May 20, 2009 02:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Someone is editing a video of the day at the moment, expect that fairly soon

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author by photographerpublication date Wed May 20, 2009 02:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

photos

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they didn't know what to do with us!
they didn't know what to do with us!

author by Granpiuspublication date Wed May 20, 2009 03:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You can learn to live with a little money when the sun shines and you are young. Being old in the piddling rainshine is another story.

author by Mick - C.I.publication date Wed May 20, 2009 05:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

DEADLY! :D I'd love to see more of these autonomous celebrations springing up. F.T.S

Related Link: http://www.submedia.tv
author by JamesMcBpublication date Wed May 20, 2009 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sick in bed but this cheered me up no end, keep up the good work.

author by Gerrypublication date Wed May 20, 2009 14:28author email gerry.gerbil at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Nice idea, and the photos look like the day was fun. Was that on Quay Street? If so, how come traffic wardens were involved on a pedestrianise area? I've not been to Galway for a bit but that's the only pedestrianised area I can remember.

I'll bet the tourists thought it was some quaint local festival :o)

author by Stevo - ShellToSeapublication date Fri May 22, 2009 09:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

within a week of that brave effort, where the cops didn't know what to bust people as. & the community wardens (greys) seemed all too bust hungry, the streets of Galway were further travailed by the forces of capitalism as the photos here will show.
This is Taaffe's the old woollen shop, which has had a site notice up on it since the end of last year.
I wonder if this is a sign that future development is about to begin.
Thought they had Una committed about 6 years back so they could get hold of the place, but up to now the only change has been boarded up windows, here covered in other, possibly better information.

commercialism rex?
commercialism rex?

but art survives
but art survives

boarded windows otherwise adorned
boarded windows otherwise adorned

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri May 22, 2009 10:20author email fred.johnston at rocketmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Galway has effectively been sold to Volvo for the next two weeks. Hoteliers triple room prices. Never mind that Galway's glorious City Council has refused funding to the Claddagh Boatmens' Association,a group charged to repair and build the traditional Galway 'hookers' and gleoiteogs but can call in the Red Arrows to let the RAF show the strength and skill of its pilots over Galway Bay. Worse, Galway City Council - where top officials are even looking for new jobs elsewhere - has designated the loudest, brashist and most commercially-grasping area of the city as a 'Latin Quarter,' even though some local businesses think it laughable, as do most real Galwegians. They've taken a plot once renowned as a 'red light' district and turned it into some sort of faux-mediaeval area, while historic plaques and other such items have been lost, dismantled, or dumped. Already one British newspaper has ridiculed the city for this, (The Daily Mail) but what do they care? The fake makes money. So it is a great thing that young people can go out and try at least to show that the streets, put up for grabs so often by the City Council (which has no Arts Plan, by the way, in spite of one being called for years' back), belong to the ordinary live-a-day people of the city and not merely to commercial interests. Certain business developping interests have an eye on Taaffe's old shop and would like to, eh, removated the old frontage and put in 'real' (ie, big and supermarkety) display windows. How tedious, however, that people interested in preserving what is left of Galway's real heritage oppose them! Galway City Hall opposes the Western Writers' Centre in all its attempts to find premises, yet creates out of nowhere a fake Latin Quarter. I won't go on . . . . . City of Culture my good arse!

author by Dannipublication date Fri May 22, 2009 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"City of Culture my good arse!" this is a totally unfair and misleading statement by Fred Johnston. I was at a brilliant poetry reading in Galway library last evening. There were about seventy people there. These sorts of crowds don't attend such events in most of the rest of the country. In fact these sort of events don't happen in most of the rest of the country. Earlier this month I was at a poetry slam event in the Crane Bar with an English peformance poet reading, again the place was packed. I've just moved to Galway and can't believe the amount of arts stuff going on here, and the range of people involved, especially in the area of literature and writing. Fred Johnston and his "Centre" seem to have very little to do with all this, which begs the question what exactly is he the "centre" of? Fair play to the Galway Council for not giving his a building, they got that one thing right.

author by 00publication date Fri May 22, 2009 15:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good to see some reclaiming of streets over this side of the country. Well done.

author by sarah-jpublication date Sat May 23, 2009 01:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

How unbelievably awesome.

'Freely, freely you have received, freely, freely give.'

could you post the next one on indy before it goes ahead? coz i really want to come. I'm actually so happy after reading this. well done to all who organised it.

feck money!!!

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Sun May 24, 2009 14:35author email sylfredcar at iolfree dot ieauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good to have feedback from 'Danni' above and to feel that passion about poetry. We will see you, no doubt, at the Micheal O Siadhail reading coming up? Of course we will. Details in the Events listings here.

author by gerbilspublication date Thu May 28, 2009 15:31author email thestreetgig at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you'd like to hear more about upcoming events fill in the blank in the following sentence

What do we want to do? ___________ the streets!

...and send the answer to thestreetgig@gmail.com
(state if you like to added to organising\\announcement list, or both!)

See ye on the streets soon!

~gerbils

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