SchNEWS Of The World


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Radical Routes

We live in what is essentially a one party state, most differences between the major political groupings being no more significant than factional arguments within a single party, with each political brand in thrall to unelected business interests so wealthy and powerful that resistance would mean removal from the political arena. Every five years we are permitted to endorse this dismal situation by placing the traditional mark of the illiterate against the name of a politician not bound to keep the promises they have made to get elected and over whom we have no further control.

Those two strokes of a pencil conveniently excuse us from direct responsibility over our political lives and the political life of our neighbourhoods and towns. We abdicate our social and political responsibility into the hands of a small political elite kowtowing to a plutocracy and are told that this is what democracy is about.

On one level or another increasing numbers of people are recognising the futility of supporting mainstream politics, faith in the existing system is lapsing. What are we to do instead? What practical steps can be taken take to evade control by the established order and how do you go about building a different society?

For around twelve years Radical Routes has been developing a network of independent co-operatives holding collective ownership of urban housing and rural land and buildings for groups and individuals working for social change. Radical Routes also aids small worker controlled businesses involved in socially useful work, supports and promotes de-schooling and home education and helps facilitate the development of radical clubs and social centres.

All these projects are bases from which we can begin to build a society of people who see the value of co-operation over wasteful and destructive competition, who can work without the results of their labour being diverted to share holders, managers and directors and play without these same people filling their pockets. Who actively oppose the environmental and ecological destruction which goes hand in hand with relentless production of absolutely anything at any cost provided that it makes money for someone who already has more money than they know what to do with. Who will not tolerate exploitation, oppression and injustice and who have the imagination, confidence and practical enthusiasm to develop alternatives through grass roots participatory democracy, egalitarianism and, from time to time, hard work.

Radical Routes currently has around 37 member groups within an area from Central Scotland down to Cornwall and Sussex and from Norwich across to West Wales. A further 25 or so groups are associated, being like minded and generally speaking 'on board' but not formally members. Radical Routes can be contacted at:

16, Sholebrook Avenue,

Chapeltown, Leeds, LS7 3HB.

Telephone: 0113 262 9365.



The network is financed through supporters investing in Rootstock, the financial arm of Radical Routes. So why keep your cash in a bank where it's liable to be used to fund all manner of exploitation, environmental destruction and otherwise ethically dodgy projects when it could help to support the development of grass roots control and social change? Rootstock can be contacted at:

50, Whateley Road, Handsworth, Birmingham B21 9JD.

Telephone: 0870 458 1132.


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