A celebration moment – the first accidental outing of the “We are Moss Side” banner – in Alexandra park.

The banner had arrived from the printers the day before, so we took it along to the outdoor meeting of the Social Power Cafe (see groups) held on the grass in sunshine in Alexandra Park.

We unrolled it, and then somehow people started coming over and talking.

A photo of us holding the banner is now the banner photo for this website.  I like the sight of people holding it, cropped so you see the banner not who they are.

We look like a ‘united colours of Benetton’ advert, but it wasn’t staged.  That was everyone at that moment.  It was taken with my phone by an off duty police woman.  The woman in the middle came up and told us personal stories about living in Moss Side for 50 years.

Having seen the interest it generated from people walking by, we lay the banner on the ground in the middle of Alex Park, and sat by it (top picture).  People came over and talked.  Sometimes with a bit of encouragement.  Sometimes hovering first, and then coming over without needing encouragement.  I heard some memorable personal histories, especially on housing.

It left me wondering whether a banner with similar words in other places would have a similar effect.  I think maybe Moss Side has a stronger meaning, a stronger back-story, and perhaps a stronger sense of identity and pride than many other places.  This is no soulless dormitory!

This open discussion was a moment when all of us were reminded of the shared sense of belonging in this place that has such a mix of people.  It is part of what makes Moss Side great.

The banner can now be loaned by any of the local groups listed on the site.  (So make sure your group is listed!)  It’s good for a celebration, and for a protest, small or large.  Please take a photo of your event to post something about it on this website.

For more information on loaning the banner, go to the About page.