The whole point of the Alternative Estuary project is to support genuine grassroots projects that will bring people together in activities benefiting the whole community. This is hard enough to achieve in normal times as the time pressures many people have to deal with leave them unable to devote the hours and energy needed to make a success of a community project. Although as we’ve always said, getting stuck into a grassroots project is a first step in not just self and community transformation, but also in bringing about the new world we want.

You don’t need us to tell you that the experience of the last eighteen months with the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent lockdowns and tiered restrictions has been anything but normal. It has sadly taken its toll on some grassroots projects. On the other hand, it’s provided the impetus for the emergence of new projects whose scope ranges from community gardening through to mutual aid initiatives. A key part of the success of any new grasroots initiative is building a sense of solidarity that can bring people together for the good of the community.

In these troubled and increasingly divisive times, building and maintaining that solidarity has become more challenging. At every turn, the authorities and the mainstream media are fostering dangerous divisions. Maskers vs anti-maskers, vaxxers vs anti-vaxxers, fanatic supporters of social distancing vs those who just want some normal human contact again – the list goes on and on. There are elements on both sides of these divides who seem only too happy to perpetuate these toxic divisions. The so called ‘journalists’ fostering this really need to take a long hard look at themselves because they’re complicit in the government’s strategy of divide and rule. The thing is, it’s lousy for our communities. Who wants to live in a tense, divided community? We certainly don’t.

The last thing the state and their corporate backers want is grassroots solidarity arising from a project that brings a diverse range of people together and also, gives us the start of some degree of independence. The authorities want us frightened, divided and totally dependent on them – that way, we’re easier to control. If we let them get away with it that is. Now, more than ever, we need to reject the divide and rule tactics that are being used to divide and weaken us. If we can do that, we’ve made a move towards building the new world we want on our terms…