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Girders for Potters Fields Park

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Current: 8 of 15
Tuesday 22 February 2011 5.07pm

[QUOTE: Maybe I am being a bit naive, but I think that if everyone opposed to the projects sends a complaint to Southwark, this will have to be officially documented and it must produce some effect, Southwark cannot simply ignore it. Maybe I've missed it, but does anyone know the right address to send the complaints to?]

Unfortunately the public does not have any right to appeal against a planning decision by Southwark Council nor can they challenge the decision because they do not agree with it. However, the public DO have the right to complain; if you are "otherwise dissatisfied with the way the council has considered the application" you can use the council's formal complaints procedure by writing, in the first instance, to Gary Rice, Head of Development Management, Regeneration and Neighbourhoods, Planning & Transport, P.O. Box 64529, London SE1P 5LX.

You can find more details of the three-stage complaints procedure on
, search under complaints. Several local residents have already begun this process
Tuesday 22 February 2011 5.53pm
Thanks for this, LTL!
Maybe it is also worth emailing to our local councillors as they are supposed to represent our views at Southwark Council. In any case, at least two of them were at the meeting yesterday at 160 Tooley Street.
Wednesday 23 February 2011 11.54am
The project's founder, Peter Rosengard, told the London SE1 website that public consultation had not been carried out before the planning application was made because the foundation's advisors had said that very few people lived close to the park.

Really ? Very few people living in the centre of London ?

Or because of the expected level of objection if the public were actually asked for their views ?

A member of the audience came to the lectern to ask for a show of hands. Professor Schama then covered the microphones to prevent the man from being heard.

For an organisation aiming to promote freedom and teach conflict prevention it's not the greatest of starts is it ?
Wednesday 23 February 2011 1.38pm
Firstly, just to echo phoney's earlier comment on how good the write up was on here:

Then, just to say, what planet does Schama think he's on? What a load of nonsense!

If I did not think that the 9/11 Project and Miya Ando's monument, designed above all to act as a focal point for educating the young, was a translation out of atrocity into a different language I would not be here tonight and I would not be interested in supporting the project which I do with all my mind, all my sense of what moral civil society is and a lot of my heart too.

Which bit of your heart doesn't support it then? It seems odd that Schama was unable to categorically say 'my whole heart'. By the way, did Schama come and do all this for free because of his sense of what a moral civil society is? I was just curious

Historians some of us at least are committed to the notion that history's function is education through memory

Yep, got no problem with that

It seems to me that if the enormity of 9/11 was directed at a group of private individuals, then the rights of the grieving not to be reminded of the misery and pain and horror of that moment are sovereign; are supreme; should never be contested

Now hold your horses right there, Schama. That's going too far. What you are saying is that because the people on the plane weren't doing it to kill particular individuals within the Towers then the relatives of those individuals who were killed don't then have any right not to be reminded of the pain and horror of that moment. Absolute nonsense. Their pain is not any less and, personally, I find such moral distinction as highly spurious

The attack of Mohamed Atta and others was not on a group of individuals. Ultimately it was on the idea of a secular, tolerant, pluralistic society itself

Really? There are many interpretations and, the dynamics of why and what happened that day are complex to say the least

Do we want in the name of a quiet life, in the name of the bucolic serenity of your city, to turn our face away from that?

Erm, London a place of bucolic serenity? Us, not wanting the memorial in our local park is 'turning away' "in the name of a quiet life"? Go patronise someone else, Schama. That's really scraping the barrel

Or is the integrity of the freedom of civil society in a great cosmopolitan place like this actually at stake?

Not that I'm aware of

What you are taking away is the possibility of the citizens of London being able to reflect on the mortal danger posed by this atrocity. This is what you are withholding from them

Erm, we are not taking anything away, Schama. And what do you mean about citizens of London (that's us, by the way yes, us) not being able to reflect on "the mortal danger posed by this atrocity"? That doesn't sound all balanced and educative and peaced out to me. You also used the term "burning remnant" to describe the proposed memorial. I think that blows the veneer off everything you've said doesn't it?

I do find it a little bit hypocritical that's it's fine to have a programme in schools but it's somehow not fine to have it as part of our urban fabric

Oh dear, there you go again Schama, being insulting to the very people you were trying to convince. I don't think it's hypocritical at all. The Foundation has persisted in trying to keep the two things linked. The reality is all we have is a proposal for a physical memorial and numerous statements about how much great work the educational charity is going to do, at some point

I'm sure that with all the brain power kicking around the Foundation and with it having advisers the calibre of Schama, the educational charity will still manage to meet its aims. OK, they won't have a memorial they can call their own parked right in front of Tower Bridge, the GLA and Tower of London but, nor does any other charity or foundation and they don't seem to be having too many problems doing what they do

So long, Schama. Who's next, Dustin Hoffman?
Wednesday 23 February 2011 3.00pm
Can I just ask...hypothetically of course and hopefully it will never come to fruition...but if someone flies a plane into the shard where will the "art" / memorial go with the girders from that if Potters Field is already "sorted".

This is

1. not art
2. is a memorial (otherwise would such a fabled historian be involved...amongst many other arguments)

There is a bizarre logic going on here which simply does not make sense to anyone rational....the Foundation want self publicity and the council want self promotion....all the wrong reasons for this.
Wednesday 23 February 2011 5.38pm
Let me begin by stating that I am a native New Yorker living in London who had the misfortune to witness the attacks and their aftermath in 2001 and also to lose a family member and several friends. I am a firm supporter of the 9/11 Project and believe that the artwork, together with the educational program, are inspirational, necessary and in good taste.

On the meeting itself, I have the following observations. While there were two members of the public who spoke out against the project generally and the artwork specifically in the names of those families which had personally suffered as a result of 9/11, there are a great many I believe who do (or would if they were informed about it) support the project. The excerpts from a letter received from a family member that Mr. Schama read sums up the sentiment of I think many, namely, that the importance of the project, both in terms of the collective good (education, remembrance, reflection and debate) are paramount and outweigh the individual sadness a family member may feel toward the artwork if confronted with it. The "if" is important as one always has the choice not to visit it. As planned, it represents but a small percentage of the park area.

The main point I would like to discuss though is one which did not feature at all in the debate on Monday. It is the importance of the artwork and the educational program as a message of hope, honor and reverence to those members of the public whose lives have been very personally and deeply affected by the 9/11 tragedy. While there are many that fall into this category including families of the victims, I am speaking mainly of the survivors including those many thousand brave volunteers who assisted with the rescue operations and who now suffer permanent (and in many cases seriously debilitating) illnesses and injuries as a result of their selfless efforts. While I have no statistics on hand to know how many UK citizens and residents fall into this class, it is entirely irrelevant. The 9/11 Project crosses patriotic, racial and religious borders and speaks to the very essence of the value system that all of "us" (in the broadest sense) hold dear. It honors those whose selfless efforts helped to save (and sought to save) others' lives, a radiant tribute to the very same values that motivated them to make their sacrifice. I have to believe that as word of it spreads, the 9/11 project will give this often overlooked group and their families encouragement and perhaps more than a little well deserved and needed emotional support. Can we not give them that much?

Finally, I would just add that of the thousand plus people invited to the meeting on Monday, I would estimate about 90 or so attended and of those probably over a third were firmly in support of the project. Of those that dissented, while I agree the "moral right to grief" makes a compelling news story and is no doubt an element of the debate, it must be acknowledged that many of those who spoke out against the project did so chiefly on a "we have a right to the park and don't want this in our backyard" basis. While I do have some sympathy for this, it must be noted that the park is somewhat frequently let out by the trustees to private groups (like David Blaine) on a fee paying basis with reduced public access and increased traffic in many circumstances. Indeed, if there had been a real estate analyst in the audience who had stood up and stated that he could provide reliable figures to the effect that surrounding property values would increase by 5% as a result of the project, I really do wonder if anyone would have been left to object (other than that poor woman who lost her sister and to whom I have the deepest sympathy and whose views embody an important but small minority of the debate). This to me is sad hypocrisy and further reaffirms why the 9/11 Project is just so important.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Kramer
Wednesday 23 February 2011 5.49pm
I've just received an email notifying me that there's a new reply on a thread I'm following. Nothing unusual there. Instead of calling the thread 'Girders for Potters Fields Park' it calls it 'Firm Support for the 911 Project'. Has anyone else had this?
Wednesday 23 February 2011 7.46pm
I think I've just realised what happened. You can change the subject. Never seen that before. Confusing.
Wednesday 23 February 2011 7.52pm
You're right beetroot, I've just got the same. Firstly when RichardK waxed lyrical about how great an idea it is. Then another one as a reply to the same changed title when you replied directly after his post

How come the thread title has changed?

The thread title is the thread title and that is what is still showing at the top of the page. Why should the email notifications be 'suddenly' different?

Has the SE1 forum been hacked to suit someone's agenda?
Wednesday 23 February 2011 7.53pm
Mmm, let me try that myself...
Current: 8 of 15

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