community building

The sparks of a revolution….

The sparks of a revolution….
A copy paste from

For those who were at TEDxKrakow Waldemar Domański needs no introduction. if you weren’t check thisński/

Yesterday evening he and a couple of his neighbours organised a small meeting in a church hall in Kliny South Krakow.

It’s the beginning of something that has to be huge, our Polish equivalent of the Arab spring, lets called it the ‘blighted suburbia’ spring. We are not fighting dictatorship, we are fighting social disintegration, apathy and horrifying attitudes of the police.

The original spark was Waldemar and Agata’s initiative to clean up the vulgar and obscene graffiti that blights their area, but read on what we heard at the meeting. Graffiti is the tip of the iceberg.

An middle aged lady told us how when she reported how two school kids (13-14 year olds) tried to mug her in broad daylight the police suggested she not go out so much and/or not keep her documents in her handbag. She is scared to walk home. Another person she knows was sprayed with white paint by kids who just thought it was a reasonable way to entertain themselves. The police didn’t even visit the school where she thinks they attended. Two men described how the cellars of their block of flats have been taken over by teenage gangs and they and other people are so scared that they are considering moving out. There are two policeman and two Straż Miejską (community policeman) who haven’t done anything (to my knowledge).

A psychologist is mobilizing students to come up with projects to help provide positive things for marginalized kids to do so it will not just be the “stick” of bringing digital vigilante practices to record and report anti social and criminal behaviour to the authorities, but also the “carrot” of offering people ladders up out of deprivation.

Thanks to Waldemar a local parish councellor turned up. People from “Koduj dla polski” (also launched at TEDxKrakow) are working on a “see click fix” type App to help with reporting and mapping problems. I’ve posted here to help gather support.

The good news is that people like Waldemar and Agata exist. They have had some success in mobilizing his local community to both integrate positively and fight back against criminality. There is some desire to change society for the better.

Taking back the streets on behalf of the people, using new technologies to rebuilt broken communities and neighbourhoods, get the authorities working with the people on their real problems. I’d say these are ideas worth spreading.

I’ll keep you posted