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Witzenhausen is a Transition Town

Tomorrow evening we are meeting here in Witzenhausen to talk about Witzenhausen’s status of Transition Town as part of the Transition Network. The meeting will happen in the basement of the 700 year old Witzenhausen Rathaus in a small basement room with grooves worn in the stone steps and floor from thousands of other meetings. we will stand together tomorrow evening to discuss what we will do to become closer, to respect and become more a part of each others lives and the lives of the natural community that surrounds us. Read the posts and see the photos of the Transition Town Witzenhausen Group.

Transition Network aims to help communities tackle both climate change and peak oil. It all started in Kinsale Ireland in 2005 by a group of activists and concerned citizens including one very influential permaculturalist named Rob Hopkins who has made this into an international movement.

Here is rather rough Manifesto by Wendel Berry. It starts rough but ends with fantastic poetic verse that I will be thinking of as I stand among all the other Witzenhauseners with dirt under our fingernails.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry

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Witzenhausen Green Week; Internationale Grüne Woche in Witzenhausen

Yesterday, the first of May, was the start of the Witzenhausen Grüne Woche amid blooming cherry trees and freshly tanned faces. It is the first time that I have seen so many people here in the streets of Witzenhausen.

To compliment the festivity the Witzenhausen foreign student group Ausländischer Studentenvertretung (ASV) has arranged a Steinstraße campus green day for the foreign students to meet local people and share food.

Learn more about green week on the Witzenhausen Grüne Woche Website and the Witzenhausen Homepage.