New Social Art School Projects - Aberdeen Street Skaters

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The Manifesto

It is the citizens who create and develop culture in the community. This culture should be supported, not obstructed by the authorities. Always remember - never forget!

ABERDEEN STREET SKATERS MANIFESTO

Skateboarding has become an increasingly popular sport and a culture in itself. In the 1970s, when skateboarding started, skateboarders practised in public spaces, using existing constructions and architectural designs suitable for their sport (stairs, kerbs, banisters, railings, etc). In this manner street skating is the very heart of skateboarding! For years Aberdeen has lacked proper skating facilities, and the authorities have shown little interest in supporting the sport. For years local skateboarders have been requesting a major skate park; meetings are held, talk goes on, rumours circulate, but nothing has seem to have happened and no one knows where the plans are leading. In addition popular, public skating areas in the city centre (for example Broad Street at St. Nicholas House and the top of St. Nicholas Shopping Centre) have been blocked with fences and gates and it is becoming increasingly difficult for skateboarders to practise their sport. Unfortunately an unfavourable attitude seems to have developed towards street skating in general. With a strong desire to break down barriers (!) and initiate a new way of communication A.S.S. was founded by a group of skateboarders and artists.

CONSTITUTION

  1. A.S.S is an unincorporated association founded in Aberdeen, February 2004.
  2. Membership is free. Anyone can join as long as they are supportive of street skating.
  3. Board of Management: Graham Kerr, Jonathan Adam, Alistair & Keith Allan, Craig Barrowman, Gareth & Haydn Morgan, Derrick Argent, Greg Bryce and Tom Jones. Director: Eva Merz.
  4. Activities include meetings between skateboarders, local authorities and the public in general; arts production; creative and progressive idea exchanging...and street skating!
  5. The Association is politically and economically independent.
  6. The Association's principal aim is to improve communication, inclusiveness and openness in all aspects of public interaction and to emphasise the fact that people come before buildings and economics. It is the citizens who create and develop culture in the community. This culture should be supported, not obstructed by the authorities - always remember - never forget!

OBJECTIVES

  1. To promote street skating.
  2. To improve communication between authorities and skateboarders.
  3. To achieve the recognition of street skating as a social, communal sport for people from any background and one which is accepted as a developing culture and an essential activity in any dynamic city.
  4. To have street skating accepted as a legal activity, in line with other forms of transport. (Skateboards make less noise than cars, skateboarders don't pollute the air and they don't run faster than bicycles)!
  5. To promote the responsibility of the individual skateboarder in preventing any casualties and collisions with other members of the public (this is no different from any other vehicle userís responsibility).
  6. To promote the immediate establishment of a number of designated areas for street skating in the city centre. This should be seen as a compromise in the present situation where street skating is excluded in almost all public areas and no official facilities are available.
  7. To promote the establishment of a major skate park in the centre of Aberdeen.
  8. To ensure that proper consultation in the planning and designing of skate parks takes place in order to fulfil a broad range of skateboarders' demands. Experience proves that quick and cheap solutions have resulted in mistakes in other communities. These mistakes should not be repeated in Aberdeen!

Aberdeen, 18. March 2004