Pic Nic the Street: public spaces and the materials of the body politk

In a previous post we already discussed the ‘ergonomics of public and political life’, which we defined as the various ways in which our bodies ‘fit’ in the material environments that we inhabit and about how this ‘fitting’ shapes the quality of public and political life.

The post was a way of signaling the increasing precariousness of urban public spaces and how they enable or diable the constitution of effective political bodies.

Well, it seems that we are not alone in this .

A couple of weeks ago, the philosopher Philippe Van Parijs published this opinion piece in which he denounced the increasing pauperization of public spaces in Brussels; their reckless marketization; the dictatorship of the car; and the need to reclaim them back. For the latter, he proposed a “a bit of gentle civil disobedience” in the form of a giant picnic to be organized in some of the main thoroughfares and squares of Brussels to “explain politely to motorists that for once is not for them to impose their rule”.

Last week, 2,000 citizens in Brussels took the streets following his call.

You can see more pics here

The demonstrators now want to turn this into a periodical event. They have organized several Facebook groups and propose a new picnic for June 24…just in case you happen to be in Brussels by then.

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