May Day 2017
The authority and legitimacy of the UK Government has been compromised by its irresponsible policy of promoting economic growth for 50 years since 1972(1), while failing to implement our United Nations aims & commitments(2). The severe consequences from a 1 degree rise in global temperatures are already apparent, and we are now at a crossroads : we can either choose to play our part in controlling growth, or we decide to accept the end of the planet as we know it, with temperatures rising by many degrees.(3)
Magna Carta & Declaration of Independence
By having no fall-back option and recklessly risking our future safety, the government has abdicated its claim to sole sovereignty, so we re-assert our local Magna Carta commoner rights(4), which predate parliament and modern laws. We are declaring local community independence – our right as a community to take direct action locally to protect our land, air and water, and to secure our long-term future.
“We behave rightly when we preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the community of people, creatures and plants, and our actions are often indefensible when we ignore this principle”(5). Maritime Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site(6), and Deptford Dockyard is on the World Monuments list of Sites in danger. The surrounding community assert our right for the areas to be managed according to the Earth Charter and other UNESCO guidelines(7). Our long-term future depends on agreeing limits as communities and individuals, based on our local Ecological Footprint(8), our carbon footprint(9), and living in harmony with Nature(10).
Land Development and Land Use
In order to protect our future from ever worsening pollution, the community has the right to stop any more development(11), to form community land trusts out of all public green spaces(12) so they cannot be sold for development, to regain control of our streets to stop air pollution, and to stop fracking companies from polluting our water.
Community custodians will need to find creative ways of putting pressure on corporations who are profiting from destroying the future(13). We have a right to clean air, healthy products, quiet streets(14) and silent skies at night(15).
Every resident has the right to the unimproved productivity of the land, and all property owners have a duty to be part of the time voucher scheme to promote community projects, in proportion to their land holding(16).
Community right to enjoy their own streets:
- Town centres redesigned by artists to prioritise pedestrians and pavement culture over traffic.
- Short-stay parking to help small businesses.
- Joined-up cycle lanes, and greater priority for cyclists.
- Greener residential streets with less tarmac, more tree-planting & gardens.
- Water soak-aways in every street to prevent climate change flash-flooding.
- Universal 20 mph speed limit as default(17).
Community rights concerning the River
- Access to the tidal Thames, including its foreshore(18), riverside path and subsoil.
- Right to veto additional construction development projects of flats along the river.
- Right to veto the Thames Supersewer(19), and to build soak-away SUDS drainage on every street - in order to avert the flash-flooding that climate change will bring
- Right to regain moorage rights from the Port of London Authority
- Right to control river speeds
- Right to implement a Marine Nature Reserve.
Our high UK population growth causes local pollution, stress, and loss of quality of life, while globally it results in war, climate change, environmental destruction, wildlife loss, and refugees.(20) Community discussions organized through health centres are the fairest way of agreeing about smaller families, and how to balance immigration and emigration.
Time Voucher Economy
- Time Voucher(21) economy can bring about a 20/20 week, 20 hours working for money and 20 hours on activities within the community using time vouchers. With local people able to exchange time, a local circular manufacturing economy can be built up, and rent & rates can be frozen. Exchanging time does not use up more resources and energy, so activities that are part of the time exchange economy don’t cause additional climate change(22), in the way that the endless growth of the consumerist economy does.
Made In Greenwich Garden
We intend to build a practical garden for carbon negative living that can be visited by appointment, to demonstrate the implementation of biochar technology, waste reduction, re-use of building materials, solar energy generation, medicinal herbs, and conservation of wildlife. It will also be a place for mindfulness meditation and Nature awareness.
Greenwich & Deptford Festival
An annual time-voucher-based Greenwich & Deptford Festival of music and arts on the Convoys Wharf site(23).
Greenwich & Deptford Day: 6th November 2017
800 years after the signing of the Charter of the Forest(24) we are declaring 6th November to be Greenwich & Deptford Day, a time to to celebrate the local Commons and the international Commonwealth.
Made In Greenwich
Made In Greenwich is the trading name of Greenwich Landscape Artists community interest company. We exhibit local artists and makers, are a community meeting space for workshops and events, and we co-ordinate the issuing of Anchor time vouchers locally.
Edward Hill. May 1st 2017
FOOTNOTES (1) to (24)
1. The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book about the computer simulation of exponential economic and population growth with finite resource supplies. Its predictions have proved accurate.
2. The 1992 Rio Earth Summit Declaration 1992 lists 27 principles, including the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle, the local participation principle, the rights of future generations principle, and the internalisation of environmental costs principle. After 25 years, these principles are largely unimplemented.
The 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples defines various local community rights, including the right to self-determination, to make local decisions about land, water and air, to physical & mental health, to maintain the means of subsistence, and to determine the responsibility of individuals to the community. And the right to restitution and redress if these rights are over-ridden.
4. The 1217 Charter of the Forest is the second part of Magna Carta, and it is a written confirmation of commoner rights, which had been orally agreed since time immemorial. The Charter’s significance lies in the fact that it has legal precedence, and because the commoner rights are in perpetuity.
5. Based on Aldo Leopold’s ‘Land Ethic’.
7. “It is proposed that specific World Heritage sites be used as demonstration models for countries and other stakeholders to design adaptation and mitigation strategies for World Heritage sites facing Climate Change challenges. World Heritage sites could act both as “host sites” where pilot projects are designed, developed and implemented and “seed sites” from where the message about successful response strategies can be spread.”
World Heritage Committee Decision 29 COM 7B.a
8. Our UK ecological footprint is higher than most other countries, and this is an agreement about how to live within limits determined by the productivity of the community’s land relative to its population, life-style, and pollution.
9. Cheap coal, gas and oil made a much larger population possible for two hundred years, but that is changing now that agricultural production is being reduced by climate change.
10. Helena Norberg-Hodge. Ancient Futures. “From one generation to another, each Ladakhi family has the freedom to choose the ideal marriage option, depending on the land available, the number of offspring and potential partners, and so on.”
11. New developments increase climate change, loss of wildlife, ill-health, conflict, pollution, poverty, stress & inequality, through air pollution and pressure on services.
There has been no proper consultation about the additional development for Charlton Riverside, Convoys Wharf, and Greenwich Peninsula, or the IKEA superstore.
12. Greenwich Park, Blackheath Common, and other open green spaces can be transferred into community trusts to prevent their commercialization and privatization.
13. We have the right to full information about the supply chain in order to apply the precautionary principle to the protection of animals, plants and people from known technological risks to health, such as fracking, neonicotinoids, plastics, glyphosate, harmful household chemicals. This is especially true of any additional developments, which have a very high environmental impact for a very long time.
14. Clean air can be achieved by vetoing the Enderby Wharf liner terminal, and the Silvertown Tunnel.
15. Adopting the precautionary principle.
16. Greenwich Hospital Estates is the principal landlord in Greenwich Town Centre. Their original charitable intention was to promote the local economy, especially health and the marine community. Instead, they mainly support a private school in Suffolk.
18. Keep The Green is re-opening river access gates and draw-docks that are illegally locked, and attaching permanent signs.
19. The Thames Supersewer is a damaging white elephant that the Thames Tunnel Commission found to be unnecessary, instead recommending soak-away storm drainage in every street (SUDS), in order to protect ourselves from climate change’s increased flash flooding as happened in Boscastle.
20. The annual 500,000 growth rate of the UK population is unsustainable and irresponsible, because the UK already far exceeds our ecological footprint. Health centres are the obvious place for communities to discuss and agree how to self-limit our family size.
21. Made In Greenwich are launching local time exchange, first with security printed ‘anchor’ vouchers, then with personal credit-debit cards. www.timevouchers.org.uk
22. Economic growth causes environmental damage and climate change because of the way our money system works - the consequence is always an increased use of resources and energy. But if we grow a time voucher economy, then we are increasing the amount of local activities and can even achieve full local employment, without causing environmental damage.
23. Festival Themes: Activism, Archaeology & Culture, Art & Performance, Boat-Building, British Isles & Celtic, Commons & Community & Commonwealth, Ecological Footprint & Family Planning, Education, Electricity & Energy, European, Food & Herbs, Gardening, Harmony & Peace, Health, History, Information, Island Independence, Land Rights, Local Economy, London, Manufacture & Work, Maritime Cities, Nature & Wildlife, Recreation & Play, Recycling & Repair, Regenerative Farming, Remembrance, Resilience, Soil & Biochar, Thames & Water Recreation, Time Exchange, Tiny Houses, Travellers & Visitors, Trees, UNESCO, World Heritage Sites.
24. The Charter of the Forest is the second part of Magna Carta. It deals with the Commons, and established the rights of the common man in perpetuity.