Galwegian's are Reclaiming it's Streets (Eire)

May 17, 2009
Yesterday 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 over, with it's 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, 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 sense! 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