Local residents reclaimed Hulme Park in Manchester on Friday for an hour by closing down the road that runs through it. Leaflets had been distributed and posters stuck around inviting people to reclaim the park - “one love, one park!!” People played games, ate and drank, and generally sat around in the street chatting to old friends and new. The police turned up in fair numbers on time, but sensibly - shock horror - just left enough of them and PCSOs to help direct traffic away, and left us to it.
When the Crescents got knocked down in the 90s, to sanitise the community action and creativity that was rife throughout Hulme, these high-density crescents of flats were replaced with a new park, and the land around sold to developers for swanky houses and flats on new exclusive streets with (s)wanky names like The Sanctuary.
The problem with old Hulme, as described by the council regeneration stooges, was that people and cars didn't have to mix and were largely kept separate. New Hulme - a mix of old council housing (just sold off), housing association, a big housing co-op, private rented & private sold – would be safe for the city centre to expand into the space left as communities were broken up and shipped out to overspill estates around Manchester.
So what this park needed, right, was a road right through the middle of it (as well as on all sides), to keep the children safe because “the headlights of cars would act as cat's eyes and prevent danger”.
Well, we've had enough.
Every Friday, 5-6pm, until we...Reclaim Hulme Park!
Close down the part of Royce Road that separates the two halves of Hulme Park.
Bring frisbees, balls, bikes.