Munich - city of a peaceful
From July 13th to July 20th 1997 there's going to be a meeting of many people from other german towns and all over Europe in Munich. The intention is to put human values against an overboarding cartraffic.
Hundreds of people will cross red traffic lights, pass crossroads in the diagonal direction and walk the streets on the roadways. If only three people pass a huge crossing that way on seperate points, the whole traffic can be slowed down to walking speed!
We are going to ride big streets in the middle of the roadway on bicycles - for the sake of our own safety!
We intend to force the politicians
to do something. Together we are going to create civil disobedience
(and face nothing more than a fine of 40,- DM each) and stand
firm for a better quality of living and housing.
We will slow down car traffic to
walking speed in aany areas of town at one time. The streets will
belong to pedestrians!
Politicians talk, we will do
Cars create noise, stink,
take to much space and kill children!
"Nobody enjoys walking the streets these days anyway because they are that ugly" and "Well, cars do need more space than children" is what they keep telling you.
And right they are! Who is walking big roads like Dachauer- or Implerstraße (which have been narrow lanes not so long ago) just for fun? Can you see old people on the streets nowadays? They are afraid to be there! There is to much noise, no trees left, no benches to sit under them and may be daydream. And the children?
Just take a look at those numbers:
Public grounds, play grounds, parks etc. In Munich: 2,7 square kilometres.
750000 registered cars in Munich - which means, as one car takes an average of 6 square metres: 4,5 square kilometres.
Streets, roads, lanes etc. In Munich takes 22,0 square kilometres!
Not to talk about our children suffering the hardest from air pollution!
Car traffic prevents a community
living on places that had been made for people!
Everyone of us can decide from 13th to 20th of July wether to create a fairer way of sharing the streets or simply to swallow all the danger, health diseases and noise cars create.
Well, we know we want a better
quality of living, and this can't go along with a mad car disease
that nowadays society has led up to.
Myself, Michael Hartmann, started in 1988 to walk across cars that were parked on pavements, blocking them to people depending on wheelchairs, mothers with perambulators etc.
In 1989 I attacked car traffic itself for the first time by picknicking in the middle of one roadway on Leopoldstraße, one of Munich's arterial roads. I was fined 30.- DM.
From June '92 to October '93 I walked streets on the roadway for more than 800 Kilometres, because: Man takes precedence to cars! This led to a punishment of 10 months on probation, but in August '95 the supreme court quashed that. I cannot be regarded as previously convicted up to this day, in spite of all my actions against an overboarding car traffic! Since October '93 I pass crossings in diagonal directions and cross red traffic lights, as I already did in 1990/1991
What is Munich, a city of
progress, going to look like in the year 2001?
Whole neighbourhoods are free of cars. Cars that people share are parked along arterial roads where they can be easily reached by bus or by tram. There's going to be tree lined walks on each of the 2200 kilometres of roads and lanes in Munich. You'll find the old sitting on benches or promenade on their way to splendid squares. The children are playing out on the streets.
The social conditions of housing have improved enormously, people are willing to communicate and talk to each other on many occassions. They cycle on ruts made out of old tyres, so there's little danger of slipping and falling even if it is raining. And they don't hurry that much any longer, because they prefer to leave earlier - a nice chat with friends and neighbours makes you start the day better!
Living in a city that uses solar energy, that takes every effort to organize work, leisure, living and shopping in a way that you find all this close to your neighbourhood and that supplies good public transport to all farer places, you don't need your car any longer. The big shopping centers on the edge of town will diminish, kiosks and small shops close to the homes will pop up again.
They and other activitys, gardening,
building trams and driving busses will create a lot of new jobs.
And the parks offer a plenty of space for cultural activities.
What does the peaceful revolution
I'll organize a first european-wide meeting of people willing to stand up against the cars from July 13th to July 20th. Allready, men and women from Vienna, Kiel, Flensburg and Zurich have promised to take part. Apart from official happenings and demonstrations, everbody is asked to create direct actions that prepare car drivers for a more equal togetherness in every day's traffic.
Our actions in July are meant to initiate (???) a serious reorganization of Munich's traffic. Our civil disobedience is going to force car traffic to respect pedestrians passing crossways whether traffic lights show red or not. That way average speed will be reduced enormously!
More and more people will realize that the streets are made for them in the first place. They will
pass red traffic lights,
pass crossroads in the diagonal direction.
They'll do that even if there is no car around: The possibility of human beings walking the crossways forces car drivers to be more aware all the time.
Bicyclists are an important part of the peaceful revolution too. As bicyclists are in great danger on the ruts that were originally meant for them (people opening car doors carelessly, car drivers crossing the ruts without looking for bicyclists or simply parking on thus ruts, and so on ...), they should
As far as carwalking is concerned,
all I can say is: Get up on the frontpart of the MOTORHAUBE,
take a careful step to it's end, get up on top of the car,
one step right to the middle of it (there might be a sound like
"blopp", if you put your foot down, and an "blupp"
if you walk on: don't worry!) another foot to the end, get down
(close to the window), step to the end of it carefully and jump
down. As a newspaper from Berlin wrote on April 2nd
1997: "Court says: You are allowed to walk across other people
cars ... if they are parked on sidewalks and you don't intend
to create damage!"
Reducing average speed is one of great meaning not only on the number of accidents, but for the consequences children have to face - as have adults and eldery people.
Too little parking space, traffic
jams and noise are not only unpleasant, together with reduced
speed they also might be a motivation to use one's car not so
What possibilities are open
Our week in July:
Starting in special neighborhoods, then all over town, hundrets of activists are going to walk on small streets and big roads. Car traffic will find the space open to it diminished (???) enormously - and moreover, thel'll have to share it with bicyclists who ride along in the middle of one laneway.
At crossroads, only a few will start passing them in the diagonal direction or ignore red traffic lights. But if they do, many will follow, thereby changing crossroads to squares where pedestrians meet and chat. Many citizens will take the chance to enjoy the streets they live in right from the middle of the laneway - a totally new, different view! The few cars that pass do not frighten them any longer.
This week in July is going to bring a meaningful change to the relation between man and machine. Car drivers will have to watch out for pedestrians at every single crossroad, average speed is going to be reduced drastically and car drivers are going to get tired of driving around at about 20 km an hour. Lots of them won't use the car for short distances any longer - they'll ride by busses and tram or bicycle - and even be quicker than on the crowded streets of before.
This kind of resistance against
"mad car disease" will, if plenty of people take part
in it lead to a new political, ecological and social way of thinking
that is necessary if Munich wants to become the new ecologic capital
Walking the streets:
We are going to stroll along in smaller or bigger groups as it just comes to our minds: right in the middle, a little more to the left, a little more to the right. Car drivers won't possibly overlook us!
That week in July is going to find us walking the middle of the laneways in loose distances - for example 70 to 80 people on Leopoldstraße. This might happen on every day from July 13th to July 20th!
Car drivers are human
beings as well, and noone would kill or hurt somebody else deliberately
just for walking the street instead of the laneway!
Passing crossings in the diagonal direction:
All those who take part in
that week's actions should pass crossings in the diagonal direction
not only during the happenings but all of the time - as they should
ignore red traffic lights. Together, we will put crossings back
to the state of meeting points from 13th to 20th
You can walk onto the laneway
though traffic lights may tell pedestrians "stop" as
long as cardrivers are not given the green lights yet. If traffic
lights allow them to start afterwards, they simply can't race
off as they are used to ...
Cars parked on the pavement? Lets walk right across them!
We'll treat them the way deserve
it - either by stepping on top of them or, if four or five people
are together, by simply pushing them back to the roads.
If 400 people get together
from July 13th to 20th we'll mess up the
whole of Schwabing (a quarter in the center of Munich) so that
everybody can see: it takes only very little people to disturb
car traffic seriously! If 1000 people take part, we might be able
to block all central roads right around the center of town, and
if 2000 get together we could create chaos all over town.
Some organizational items:
For everybody arriving on Saturday, 12th of July: We are going to have a small picknick at the Monopteros in Englischer Garten, 6 p.m. Officially, the meeting will start Sunday, 13th of July. The bureau is at "Green City", Steinstraße 56 (S-Bahn - station Rosenheimer Platz), Tel. 089 - 45 87 98 78. To start with, we will try to find a place to sleep for everybody. In the evening, there will be a first big action.
|For our own information desks we need volunteers as well as such willing to work for our very own newspaper that we plan - and of course we need people that dare walk the streets with us!
Until that we will meet every first and third Sunday of the month, 6 pm at "Froh und Munter", Artilleriestraße 5. You get there by Tramway Number 12 or bus Number 33. Get off at stop "Albrechtstraße"
Dear cardrivers, please slow down around crossings!
Because that is where most of the
accidents happen. People get knocked down, hurt and even killed
because cardrivers often are not careful enough. And now you'll
have to be aware of lots of people crossing the lanes in the diagonal
direction. Understand: If you travel the road with not more than
30 km/h, you'll hardly ever have to use your brakes because you'll
be able to see everything in time!