The seasons are changing. There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are turning some lovely colours, and Nottingham SPEAK is up and running! We’re a group of 8, give or take a few each week, and we’re a mix of students and working “grown-ups”. Last year, Nottingham SPEAK went a bit off-piste with our campaign and we were learning about Israel and Palestine. It was absolutely fascinating, and we ended the year with one of our members meeting his MP to talk about the ways that some of the services that are funded by the government in his constituency were helping support unjust policies in Israel and Palestine. We were, however, making it up as we went along though. So this year we thought we’d be a bit more structured, and have planned out our next term!
This year, we’ll be looking at Seeding Change, the Land and Seeds Campaign. It’s felt like the perfect campaign to be learning about during this the Harvest season, as the trees are full of apples and pears, and the Autumn showers make everything smell of earth... in the best way possible.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be learning about the campaign together. We’ve separated out the topics into Land Grabs, Agribusiness/ Agroecology and Food sovereignty. Documentaries are fantastic, so we’ll be using film, as well as case studies and various campaign resources in order to educate ourselves about the issues. Since SPEAK exists to speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, it’s important that we know what we’re talking about, so learning will be a big part of this first term.
Nottingham SPEAK is big into community as well, and we’ve become stronger together as a campaigning group by becoming strong friends. There’s no better way to strengthen friendships than to eat together, so we will be having a meal together every other week. Of course, food provides a great starting point when discussing land and seeds, so we will be intentional when thinking about where our food comes from. Organic, seasonal, British-only meals might be a bit too ambitious, but we’ll do our best to put into practice the principles that we learn about.
There are a few fun activities in the diary as well, including visits to the University allotment, a field-trip to a local City Farm, perhaps some seed-planting on some abandoned land, and it wouldn’t be SPEAK without some mischief-making, so we’ll be trying out some moss graffiti. Any other ideas welcome!