The Loiterers Resistance Movement

June 2020 First Sunday: reading and writing space

TL;DR First Sunday tomorrow aims to read and rewrite the city. And, of course, as ever Black Lives Matter

Hello dear friends and fellow loiterers

Its First Sunday this Sunday (tomorrow!) and so once again there will some experiments in creative walking. Apologies that details come to you very late this time. I’m sure some of you will have also been experiencing the elasticity of time and assorted pressures from other areas that can make it hard to focus and I am sorry I veered off track a little, but I cherish First Sunday walks and I have an idea to make this one a little different….

But first, and importantly, I want to be clear I, and The LRM, stand with Black Lives Matter. When we say The Streets Belong to Everyone we mean this and pledge to do all we can to make justice and equality more than just words. I’m particularly mindful of how psychogeography and so many of the foundational texts we use have deeply troubling roots and I want to reiterate my commitment to being open to ways I, we, can do better. Our greatest power is often at the local level and a key reason The LRM began was to trouble and complicate the official, essentialising narratives of Manchester. This work seems more vital now than ever. We must be alert to tokenism and PR spin; most crucially do not let the myth of “radical Manchester” erase structural racism and the work we must all do to dismantle it. Yes, it’s true there has always been radicals and resistance and we must celebrate it but don’t allow it to smooth over complexities. Our city was not united against slavery and we sold weapons to both sides in the Civil War. Our Lincoln statue was a cast off and, most importantly, inequality and discrimination persists. Never forget our red brick bleeds and was built on exploitation and as with so much else Manchester is particular but not exceptional in this respect of course.

Regarding First Sunday, I realise in the UK some restrictions are easing but for many reasons I am not suggesting we meet in person in any way yet. The risks feel too high and much evidence supports this, so let’s try another experiment with multiple strands. One of the small joys emerging from these difficult times has been that walking together, alone, has enabled people from outside Manchester to join First Sunday and connect with us in new ways. I want to learn from this too and continue sharing across time and space. So….

Lets read the streets (or our rooms or gardens or ginnels or wherever). This month I invite you wherever, and whenever you are to find scraps of texts. Writing on walls, fragments of rubbish, slogans on t-shirts or placards or billboards, shop fronts and flyers…. Whatever you can find. Take a picture or make a note and if you feel like doing so call it poetry. Its a way to begin to rewrite the city by taking what it says to us and rearranging in new ways. Detournement of trash and textual treasures. Please do share what you discover – here’s how:

I will start walking to find words at 2pm BST Sunday 7th June and you can join me via whatsapp. To be part of this group please send your phone number (with country code if you are outside the UK) before 12noon tomorrow. You can text or whatsapp it to me on 079 749 29589 or email If you prefer you can share via twitter, please include @thelrm or add to our facebook group “the loiterers resistance movement” The actual walk I take will be around 90 minutes long, obviously you can go at a pace and in a direction of your own choosing, but please remember to take care, comply with local restrictions and don’t be an arse. We share our paths with others and need to be consider and careful of our impact.

Several people have been in touch (thank you) to say how much they miss the social aspect of First Sundays, specifically being able to share stories and make connections afterwards when we have a brew and blether. I miss that too terribly and there isn’t a perfect solution but I would like to create a space to discuss this walk and share the street wisdom we stumble upon. I’m aware that it’s a little late for tomorrow so I propose a virtual social on the solstice, June 21st. I’ll set up a zoom and anyone that wants to can pop in, this also means potentially this will be our longest ever derive as we have a fortnight to collect texts for it. I’ll share the meeting link soon.

In the meantime I really hope we can walk together, alone, tomorrow and that you and yours go well and that we can use our wanders to contribute to creating wonderful new ways

With love and golden apples

Morag xx

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