Saturday, October 25, 2008

the poor+disadvantaged

Our Thursday night group of friends (Ithaca) is currently using the book “Gathered+Scattered” (readings+meditations from the Iona Community) as a source for discussion over our weekly meal/drinks(!) together. Today’s reading is part of a piece written by the wonderful Kathy Galloway for the laying of the commemorative stone in George Square, Glasgow in 1987 in support of people living in poverty and to campaign to make their voices heard. It serves as a public statement that poverty is neither inevitable nor acceptable:
Remember me, do you?
I turned the wheels that made the engine-room roar.
I dug your roads and built your ships,
I carted your coal and drove your trains,
I forged the iron and unloaded your docks,
I stoked your boilers and fed your production lines,
I cleaned your offices and swept your streets,
I sewed your clothes and emptied your bins,
I made your weapons and fought your wars,
I fried your food and guarded your factories,
Until you had no more use of me
And I became an economic liability.
I came from many places to do it:
From the highland glens and island shores,
From the slave-mines of Ayrshire and the valleys of Lanark,
From Ireland, Poland, Russia, Italy,
From India, Pakistan, Uganda, China,
From Chile, Vietnam, Iraq and Kosovo;
Well that you remember me on the ground beneath your feet.
The city was built on my labour
In the light of the global credit-crunch, it just seemed a very timely reminder.

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