On Friday 20 August, Mark Langdon brought the spirit of SANE and The People’s Plan for Glasgow to an audience of new and familiar faces. The Weekend Starts Here is a weekly online interactive meeting of minds, hosted by Secure Scotland and the Edinburgh YES Hub. These meetings are designed to highlight positive action happening in Scotland across a broad range of issues, exploring how such activities contribute to a greater understanding of what it will mean to ‘feel safe’ in Scotland’s future. Mark was introduced by Iona, who, having been involved with both SANE and Secure Scotland, highlighted the similarities in structure and intention between the two organisations.
Mark talked us through the journey of thinking that led to the formation of the SANE Collective, and situated these logics within the scope of current and ongoing campaigns of anti-neoliberal resistance across Europe and the wider world, highlighting in particular the radical municipalism expressed by the ‘Preston Model’ and ‘Fearless Cities’ materials. We discussed the application of these ethics in the context of city-wide organisation, and the People’s Plan for Glasgow, and in terms of reform to educational services and practises.
Many of the audience in attendance that evening were educators themselves, and much of the discussion element of the event focussed on this theme. Mark and Iona highlighted the ongoing work of Peace Education Scotland, and there was a discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of the championing of STEM projects, which evolved from the mention of the early developments of a new project in Scotland looking at education through an explicitly anti-capitalist lens. There was a moment of unexpected connection when Mark’s father, also an educator, was remembered fondly by David Mackenzie of Secure Scotland. The meeting closed with an update from the Edinburgh YES Hub, and messages of support for hospitalised YES Hub official Mike Blackshaw. SANE’s social media and website details were circulated for participants to learn more. We hope that this will be the jumping off point for further engagement with Secure Scotland in the future. Their promotion of the vision of ‘true human security’ and our mission to stand against neoliberalist policies that directly contribute to people feeling unsafe, could learn and grow much from one another.