YOUR Country Needs You!
I am happy to join with you in March and April this year in what will go down in history as the greatest Great British Spring Clean. Be “Part of the Pick” towards freedom from litter for the sake of our town and our nation.
It would be shameful for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This spring of the egitimate discontent of our citizens will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom from litter and pollution.
But there is something that I must say to people who stand up and actively help to clean up our town. In the process of gaining our rightful environment we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds against the misguided and irresponsible people who spread litter. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom from litter by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative activities to degenerate into hate and verbal abuse. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting anti-social force with soul force. The marvellous new army of volunteers, of which they number over 900 in this town, has grown in our community but must not lead us to relax the efforts of all our people, for many of our brothers and sisters, as evidenced by their presence at organised litter picks across our town, have come to realise that their destiny is tied up with our towns destiny. They have come to realise that their freedom from litter is inextricably bound to freedom from litter for our nation. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always pick up litter that is ahead of us. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of a cleaner town, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the littering continues. We can never be satisfied, as long as our streets, footpaths and green spaces are blighted by litter.
Let us not wallow in the tide of litter, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the litterers of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the dream of a litter-free environment.
I have a dream that one day more people of this town will rise up and give of their free time out of the true meaning of community service: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created with equal social responsibilities.”
I have a dream that one day our town will be free from the unsafe, unhygienic and anti-social drug and alcohol addicts who litter our streets and green spaces with spirit bottles, lager cans, needles and other drug paraphernalia, and we will be able to sit down together on one of the many seating areas around town in a pleasant safe environment.
I have a dream that one day our town centre will be free from beggars and rough sleepers and all the litter they generate. It is shameful that our council have not provided support for these sad people. It is unsafe, unhygienic and criminal that this state of affairs is allowed to continue. How difficult is it to use of one of the many empty buildings in the town as a temporary hostel to provide safe accommodation, sustenance and wash facilities for these poor people?
I have a dream that one day even the state of “Eastwood Village”, an area sweltering with the heat of anti-social behaviour, sweltering with the heat of pollution, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom from strife, from litter and fly tipping waste.
I have a dream that my grandchildren will one day live in a town and a nation where they will not be subjected to the daily ugly sight of the results of anti-social behaviour.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the land shall be revealed, and all citizens shall see it together.
This is our hope. That more of you will take up the challenge and become a litter champion? Join the Keep Britain Tidy “Great British Spring Clean”. Join with the 900 plus Streetpride “Love Where You Live” volunteers. Join one of the scores of litter pick groups across the borough. Join the Canal and Rivers Trust “Tow Path Task Force” at Rotherham canal lock 10am the fourth Friday every month. Join the Friends of The Don Valley Way. Join the Broom Area Litter Pickers.
With apologies and thanks to Martin Luther King.
David Burton, Broom Valley, Rotherham