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Very exciting news – we are launching South Tyneside Transition Town on Saturday October 10th at the Eco-centre in Hebburn, 4 – 6pm. Everyone is welcome to join us for the start of how we move away from reliance on oil – how we as a community can respond to the challenges, and opportunities of peak oil and climate change.

Two Green Party members have got this happening, Anna Heyman who’s been involved in the Newcastle Transition Town before moving to Jarrow, and Diane Nicholson, a new member.

Another Green Party member, David asked me last night how I saw this Transition initiative and other campaigns like Unite Against Fascism and Keep Metro Public, and the Green Party all fit together. I feel strongly that to achieve the kind of radical change, a revolution, in our society, electoral politics is not enough, but neither is pressure group campaigning from the outside of the political power structure. We have to do both. We have to push from the outside to make an impact on the politicians currently in power, but we have to force them to take action by gaining significant votes. We have to hit them where it really hurts – in the ballot box. And we have to gain power – where Green Councillors (well over 100 now) have been elected in places such as Brighton, Norwich, London, Lancaster, Kirklees, they have brought about exactly the kind of progressive things so many of us, red and green, want. For instance in Kirklees, council houses are getting solar panels, which brings down fuel bills for poorer people, invests in renewable energy and creates green jobs. A win, win, win result that would not have happened without that handful of determined Green councillors.

And why I think the Transition Town is a brilliant part of the revolutionary struggle is that it genuinely is bottom-up, community-building, challenging the capitalist economic orthodoxy, demonstrating small is beautiful. Successes elsewhere that we might decide to start here like bee-keeping, allotment sharing, community gardening, including guerrilla gardening, are the sort of things that convince people more than speechifying that there is another way to live. That consumerism doesn’t make us happy. That growing our own food, together, and sharing stuff are among the most satisfying and deeply human things we can do. Just seeing the children in my gardening club at school digging up a raised bed after the holidays and unexpectedly finding potatoes still there was proof – it was like a treasure hunt, they were so excited. They couldn’t wait to take some home to ask their parents to cook them. Then they found some jewel-like cherry tomatoes in the courtyard and unprompted by me, they shared them out to make sure they all got to taste them – it was magical….

The revolution this world needs is not only about jobs and money, it’s about how we live our lives, people discovering that humanity and solidarity – local and international – are the source of human happiness.

So check out the Transition Town movement, it’s blossoming all over the place, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland….

More info on South Tyneside launch from Anna Heyman or Diane Nicholson: or


One Comment

  1. “It was like a treasure hunt, they were so excited. They couldn’t wait to take some home and ask their parents to cook them.”

    Yes, Charlotte had fun helping me cook (and eat) the potatoes she brought home from her horticulture lesson at Jarrow School the other day.

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