A beautiful Saturday afternoon and the people have taken to the streets! As weâ€™re walking around I hear a few comments along the lines of â€˜what are we doing here?â€™, â€˜where are we going?â€™. To be honest, itâ€™s the same questions on my lips. I know weâ€™re here because of our beloved Stokes Croft, but what that means is a mystery so far. Itâ€™s at this point that the very vivid red and green placards are pointed out – how I missed them is beyond me, I was carrying one after all! They scream the objective:
DONâ€™T DEVELOP STOKES CROFT â€“ LET IT DEVELOP.
A warm sense of purpose washes over me, weâ€™re taking a message of loving creativity to the streets and Love Bristol is in the middle of it- exactly where we belong! We donâ€™t want big money making companies to come in and develop it their way, we want the people of Stokes Croft to dictate the future. Love Bristol has a vision for this: a community based in love with a heart for people and expressing part of thatÂ through artistic creativity (in whatever form that may be). If we love a God who is supremely creative and who wants the best for us, then we need to bring that message into reality.
What astounds me is that this is what this Croft march is all about, hundreds of people have taken to the streets to say in unity that â€˜we want to creatively develop our cityâ€™. Enough of the little boxes mentality, itâ€™s not all about the almighty buck and how many flats we cram into as smaller space as possible, there obviously has to some of that but it should be along side a development of community.
A pleasant hour or so spent in the sun talking to my fellow protestors (protest may be slightly strong but it allows to me to feel slightly more rebellious) leads us to a derelict building in the town centre and the final piece of the day is put into place.Â Creativity is the theme and a small installation has beenÂ devised to allow you time to think about the purpose of the day. Various local artists have displayed a selection of their work and itâ€™s a relaxing time soaking in the atmosphere and the distinct creative odour, at least thatâ€™s what I hope it was.
Joking aside, itâ€™s great to see that people are pulling together to stand up for creative community and, thank God, Love Bristol is becoming an integrated part of that goal.