At the end of last year, we wrote this post: You won’t change the world if you’re not organised! December 12, 2021. Our motivation for writing it came from a sense of frustration with a lack of organisation in some of the grassroots groups we’ve worked with over the years. What we tried to do with this post was stress the need for sound organisation along with open, honest and effective communication within the group and with any partners working with them. At the end of the post, we added a list of resources that we thought would be useful in helping these groups to operate effectively.
Part of what we’re trying to achieve with Alternative Estuary is to build a network of groups and projects committed to bringing about real, meaningful change at the grassroots. Sometimes that means facilitating a project to help it get off the ground and become self sustaining. At other times, it means pitching in to help out at an event. We do this because we believe in solidarity and mutual aid. The aim is to have a network of self sustaining, autonomous groups who will work together as and when needed to become something greater than the sum of their parts. It’s only by groups co-operating with each other as equals that we have any hope of building the new world we all want to see.
What we don’t want to do is work with a project or an event where every time we engage with them, as a result of their lack of organisation, we have to keep re-inventing the wheel because they haven’t listened to our advice on how to become self sustaining. That’s not a relationship of equals who have mutual respect for each other. It’s people who can’t get their act together relying on us to turn up and yet again pull their arses out of the fire. To be blunt, when people expect us to do this it’s a) taking the piss and b) abusive. It certainly isn’t doing anything to build the new world we want.
We make no apologies for coming over as pretty blunt about this. We all have a lot of pressure on our time and we want to make sure that we use it as effectively as possible. Look, we realise that with any project or event, things will not always go smoothly and there will be times when things go wrong. The important thing is learning from our mistakes to ensure that the next time round, things work out better. That in part means better advance planning and open and honest communication. If people can’t even be bothered to bother to get these basics right then quite frankly, we don’t want to waste our time with them. We hope this message gets through. Right, that’s it, rant over!