Introductory information on Citizen action networks and The Alternative UK is on our Networks UK page.

Emphasising the message and our conviction that citizen and community action matters, is essential to getting to zero carbon, we deserve better and are capable of so much more than entry level democracy, people power as our greatest asset, etc


"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." Alice Walker


It feels important to somehow properly recognise, acknowledge, and even celebrate, those who've gone before. To properly acknowledge the long and rich history of community action, action by concerned citizens and community groups, often unrecognised, unacknowledged and under-reported on all of the themes but particularly climate action. If we don't adequately recognise all that's gone before, are we demonstrating enough that, yes we do really value citizen and community action enough? Is this something where Yes we CAN do better?

If any of us exhort government or business to value and support community or citizen-led action more, doesn't it then carry more weight if we are doing, and are seen to be doing all we can to recognise the whole breadth of community action, and not just the brightest stars in the firmament?

Barn raising - Leckie's barn completed in frame.jpg

The Alter narrative of citizens and community action[edit | edit source]

Where is the Alter-narrative that celebrates the long and rich history of citizen and community action? Not just the brightest stars in the firmament, but something that celebrates the whole breadth of our movements? Our citizen and community activists and pioneers showing us how to move to a better more participatory, deliberative, involving, absorbing and satisfying democracy? Our citizen and community climate action that's been going on for decades under the radar. Our environment, social, social justice, and new economy movements?

Can we start it off? Can we crowd source it, taking as long as we need to do the stories justice? With my story, your stories, our story? What insights might our stories give us about Becoming closer and better connected? The full story or at least the best we can do?

Do it as:

  • Past, from when we have records, we need as many refs as we can, to the
  • Present, the now moment, to
  • Emerging, post pandemic, to
  • the future, a better future we all deserve

Let's do it for the UK, the wider world including as much as we can find from a majority world perspective, lets do it for us ourselves (?) There's more, maybe much, much more, but we need to travel and do the co-creation of this story together. ...Yes we CAN (?)

We can do more than we think we CAN

Young people doing it for themselves[edit | edit source]

(something similar to the above, and link to future generations aspect of sustainability). Young people doing it for themselves does not have to imply young people doing it by themselves! see also: An intergenerational more-as-one

Citizen elders doing it for themselves[edit | edit source]

(something along the lines of elders often underappreciated?, plus rich potential re tech and elders). Citizen elders doing it for themselves does not have to imply Citizen elders doing it by themselves! see also: An intergenerational more-as-one

The invitation in The Alter narrative of citizens and community action is open to all, but it's hoped it will be of particular interest to citizen elders. What can you teach us?

‘Every time an elder dies, a library is burnt’ [1]

Our stories[edit | edit source]

a space for your stories, you as a citizen or part of a community group, please include as many references as possible. Put your story at the top

Foto familia huertos comunitario.JPG

your story here

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Many examples via the next section

My story, your stories, our story[edit | edit source]

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Comments by members of the French Citizen Climate Convention. [2] Mar 7, 2020

Timeless[edit | edit source]

Just meaning undated!

"Go with your gut instinct. Be innovative. Innovation is about challenge, challenging others, challenging yourself, your own perceptions. If its hasn't got a challenge in it let someone else do it - you go and do something that is unique." Barbara Willis Brown of the Birmingham (UK) based organisation Scawdi - taken from a podcast on the Grassroots Channel [3]

"Where I live in Marin County, (California), it was citizen action that instigated the preservation of hundreds of thousands of acres as open space and parkland; it was not government taking the initiative. That mostly happened in the pre-Internet days. Now that we've got the Net and there's more talent, creativity and freedom in the civic sector than in government, it's time that citizens once again take the lead in building tools and solving problems for their localities." cfigallo [4]

"...and for many others today, re-engagement is essential for long-term vitality. This requires re-connecting with participative ways of knowing." Esko Kilpi [5]

“It’s not me that is ‘hard to reach’ it’s those people with the money & power that are.” anon person described as excluded [6]

"I would like more than anything to have our own space in the community, because we always have to be looking for places to run our programs. I want to run them every day." Gloria Concepcion [7], Chicago

"You, my sisters, perhaps it is your husband who earns the money for your family, but it is you who are determining how that money is spent; and in so doing you are deciding the fate of your village. You may choose to buy the beautiful silk made in France or Belgium, or you may choose the khadi cloth made by your sister and your neighbor. When you choose the khadi cloth, you are investing in more than cloth, you are investing in your neighbor, her children, and your village. As you watch the children walking to school in the morning, fed by the earnings of their mother, you realize that you and they are woven together through the cloth. You and your village are richer in proportion to the number of such stories that unite you." J. C. Kumarappa

"I want interdependence woven into our infrastructure. I want a community center on every corner, occupied by people who care for others, to support each other and use the space as they see fit. I want to see prisons shrink as drug offenders get treatment, not sentences, and I dream that transformative justice circles will catch on so that every community can decide for themselves how to judge and heal damage. And I want wealth addiction to be treated as the public health crisis it is. Let's do interventions on the financial playboys and CEOs who make more money than any one person can possibly spend in a lifetime, send them to rehab and group therapy where they'll sit in circles in slippers and sweatpants, lifetimes of lost feelings erupting on their poker faces. I want to see more grown men cry. Oppression depends on our self-repression to survive." Kate O'Rouke, [transitionnetwork.org]

"No-one asks our views... But we are the real experts of our own hopes and aspirations... We can contribute if you are prepared to give up a little power to allow us to participate as partners, in our own future, and the future of the country." Moraene Roberts

"With the increasing awareness of movements like Extinction Rebellion and Fridays For Future, citizen activism is a social trend that's here to stay. There’s incredible technology at our fingertips and when used strategically, it has the potential to influence millions. Gabriella Tavini [8]

Featured video[edit | edit source]

Blessed Unrest
Authors: Paul Hawken, May 24, 2012

More video: find uk youth climate action video link

External links[edit | edit source]


Back to top

Notes and References[edit | edit source]

- zoom 21 12 20 - earlier discussion - google doc of resources - other references

  1. ‘Every time an elder dies, a library is burnt’: Amazon COVID-19 toll grows, Jun 9, 2020 @Mongabay
  2. equalitybylot.com
  3. podnosh.com
  4. pResilience, April 7, 2009
  5. medium.com
  6. Dave Press
  7. transitionnetwork.org
  8. thealternative.org.uk
Page data
Authors Phil Green
Published 2020
License CC-BY-SA-4.0