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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004
    They've got a Nerve
    I've just discovered Catalyst, publishers of Nerve, coming out of Liverpool with creativity, sass, and critique, like:

    Surveillance in the Capital of Culture

    As surveillance cameras routinely monitor the street prohibitions of the neoliberal city, they also reinforce the moral codes, intolerances and normative prescriptions of its creators. Paradoxical as it may seem, for all the talk of cultural celebration and putting 'culture' at the centre of current urban renaissance drives, certain forms of culture are increasingly being subject to oppressive monitoring and curtailment. Recently lauded with the title of European Capital of Culture for 2008, Liverpool city council passed a byelaw to curtail a range of grassroots and spontaneous street activities and protests. The broadness of the byelaw means it can be used attack a range of perceived 'nuisances' that are tied to the secondary economy in the city and that, for the new primary definers who articulate Liverpool's renaissance, give the city the image of a 'bargain basement economy'. The byelaw makes it an offence for people to sell or tout for business in the streets or other public places, including flower sellers to sell in restaurants and bars. The new law also bans individuals asking for money to 'mind' cars and prevents charities stopping people in the street. ....
    [more here]