Tuesday April 12 Aladdins cafe, Magdalen Street The cafe is unexpectedly full. 35 people are listening intently to Deepak giving a recap of Nicole Foss' presentation last month, Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Age of Peak Oil. Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Age of Peak Oil. As well as its main theme of runaway deflation, he includes other subjects Foss spoke about after the event, notably the restriction of our civil liberties. We've organised ourselves into five tables each with a question arising from the talk: Are we heading for inflation or deflation? What political actions can we take in order to save our society? How did we get into this situation, historically, philosophically? What actions can we take locally, as individuals and in community?
I've asked the question: How can we preserve our liberties and what are they? "We don't even know what our rights are," remarked a young midwife as she described how her time-honoured profession was being squeezed out with the present NHS cuts. On a large piece of paper I'm writing a litany of our disappearing freedoms: EU directive on selling herbs, the liberty of living in a mobile dwelling on your own land, habeus corpus, press freedom, press monopoly, police collection of data. We're talking about breaking our own self-censorship, standing behind others as they act on our behalf, protesting.
What feels important is that we are talking about these things out loud. Paying attention to current social and political events together, rather than remaining stuck and fearful inside ourselvses. Because silence is consent. Afterwards the five groups give a plenary of everything discussed, including financial actions that we can take from starting our own currency in Norwich to shifting cash into ethical funds. The new Economics and Livelihoods group was born. Charlotte Du Cann
(from Entering the Conversation on This Low Carbon Life). Many thanks to Hussein and Tariq at Aladdin’s Café for providing such a warm and generous space for discussion.
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