Newsletter No. 12 Spring 98A
•Call to Legs
•The TLIO Spring Gathering
•Right to Roam
•Greene King Brewery Boycott & Land Occupation
•The Worm Turns
•Landrights on the air
•Housing, Greenfield or Brown?
|The Land is Ours Newsletter
Issue 12 Spring 98 This newsletter is @nticopyright – (feel free to use information as part of the wider free real news distribution network).
A call to legs
“You noble Diggers all, stand up now” Gerrard Winstanley 1609-76
With the Government shifting its position on the Right to Roam Bill almost daily it seems highly appropriate that TLIO should make a stand for the freedom to walk across the land, which is our birthright. There will therefore be a Mass Trespass Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th March. Coaches will rendezvous at Luton train station at 12 noon. We will then travel to one of the most inaccessible and beautiful parts of Southern England and peacefully reclaim our rights of access. Speakers, musicians and special guests will be joining us over the weekend. Please bring tents, banners, musical instruments and food to share. Dogs, however are not welcome.
Full information will be available from the office 01865 722016 and mobile phone 0402 176410 on the Saturday. If possible , please phone the office to say you are coming, or email: email@example.com.
It is vital that we get maximum support with this event as already the forces of the landowners are at work, holding secret talks with Tony Blair in order to deny us our Right to Roam. Stand up now!
TLIO Bristol are currently fighting to ensure that there is a co-ordinated campaign to save allotment sites in the city. Some 5000 individual plots are under what the council term “strategic review”. You’d have to be a few carrots short of a casserole not to realise that this is actually Council Speak for “seeing which allotment sites we can sell off to housing developers”. The Bristol group is arranging a public meeting where allotment holders and other interested parties such as local food links projects can meet and form a unified and “strategic” defence of these sites. They are launching an allotment campaign backed up by possible alternatives, money saving initiatives, and examples of good practice. They will also be challenging the Council over its LA21 commitments, which any allotment sell-off would contravene. Contact Jaffa on 0117 9667289. Carry on plotting.
Craigentinny, Edinburgh January 16th. Property developers Caledonian homes, recently bought out by the Swedish company MEPC, bulldozed a JCB through a 59 plot allotment site to prepare the way for simple site tests, destroying many fences and plots. The allotment holders had been issued with an eviction notice in November, but had flouted it, removing padlocks and continued using their allotments. The irony is that the developers haven’t yet applied for planning permission, and the council is in support of the allotment holders. There is a huge waiting list of allotments in Edinburgh, so this land is very valuable to the city. For more details: Spike Flack, 0131 556 7928
Bath 14 December, St Stephen’s Allotments. About one hundred people came to this Church owned allotment site to protest against the eviction order. The Church want to sell the site to Beaufort homes who wish to develop it into three luxury homes. Bath council have rejected the application, as it is in a conservation area, but Beaufort homes are going to appeal. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, The Right Rev. Jim Thompson, regularly speaks on Radio 4’s Today programme supporting environment issues. He is in full support of the sell-off. Write to him at: The Palace, Wells, Somerset.
On 17/18/19 April the TLIO networking group invites all land rights activists to: The TLIO Spring Land Gathering
Getting together to…
? Plan the next big national action ? Create a core group to keep TLIO strong and positive
? Twenty groups within TLIO doing amazing things ? Our huge collective force for change
Last time we thought big we took over a multi-million pound site in Central London for six months. Many people have become involved since then – we need to come together nationally to share the skills and make the friendships from which the next wave of creative actions and campaigns will come. Over the weekend, there will be a mixture of practical workshops and ideas sessions. This will be a chance to learn from activists from all across the country – we hope to have people from each of the local groups, and from those groups working on specific tasks – Rural settlement, the website, Land Essays and so on. Above all, this is an action-based event. You will leave the Land Gathering knowing what you want to do and who you’re going to do it with.
A Taster of Proposed Workshops/Events:
positive action on housing …international solidarity …a core group for TLIO …fundraising and other lessons from local group experience …a brief history of landrights (and TLIO) …low-impact living, yurts, boats, squatting. achieving consensus in activist groups… music and frolics …policies and publications …getting planning permission… defeating planning permission… allotments – taking back control of urban green space… Cost: £8 for the weekend including food and warn yurtspace, meeting from 6 pm at Northgate Hall, St Michaels St, near George St, central Oxford. If you’re coming (you are, aren’t you) please send us a cheque as we are brassic; we will also have some pre-gathering paperwork so you know exactly what’s going on. TLIO is a DIY network: if there’s anything you want to do at the gathering, give us a bell 01865 722016/0402 176410 and we’ll help you get it sorted.
Right to roam
The Rambler’s Association have produced a report on the implementation of the 1949 Access to the Countryside Act. This Act, extended in 1968, requires local planning authorities to survey open country in their area and take action for “securing access by the public for open-air recreation”. Of the 118 local authorities surveyed by the Rambler’s, only 7 had complied with this stipulation. This research is further support for Paddy Tipping’s argument that voluntary agreements and un-enforced duties are not enough to secure access for the public: we need the ” legal right to walk in open country” The Rambler’s Association, l Wandsworth Rd, London SW8 2XX 0171 582 6878.
Greene King Brewery Boycott & Land Occupation
The campaign against the proposed new access road across the ancient Butts Water Meadows to the Greene King depot at Bury St Edmunds continues despite the council giving conditional support for the proposal. An occupation of the meadows has now been established (the Water Meadows Defence Campaign). Lend them your support: funds, ideas, etc or even better turn up and join in. They can be contacted at: The Millenium Dome, Water Meadows Defence Camp, Cullum Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 or 01359 240365 or TLIO Linda Joslin, 20 Essex Avenue, Sudbury, C010 6YZ. This issue is involving a wide range of local people and nature conservation groups; people are urged to boycott Greene King pubs and products, do this – but also let Greene King know what you think of `em! Contact: Joe Scanlan, of Spring Lane Wildlife Trust, Bury St Edmunds for more information of the campaign.
The Worm Turns
30 December, Manhattan, New York City. Two community gardens were bulldozed to make way for property development. Aware of community opposition, the authorities organised the destruction as a militarystyle dawn raid. The next morning outraged East Side gardeners chained themselves across the road from the development corporation, blocking rush hour traffic for over an hour. In the 1970s the first “Guerrilla Gardeners” occupied vacant lots and converted them to community gardens. There are now over 600 such gardens throughout the New York urban area. Their uses vary from flower gardens to vegetable plots with chickens. Some have art centres containing sculptures and murals, and hold regular music and poetry events. In the 1980s Manhattan became a fashionable place to live. Now 400 gardens are under threat from residential developers, claiming to build “affordable community housing”. The local developer and the council have been successful in portraying the gardeners as a self-interested minority, obstructing desperately needed housing – but the cheapest condominiums planned for bulldozed garden sites will be far beyond the means of local people. Every lamp post on the East Side carries anti-development posters. One carries a picture of an earthworm and a property developer. The heading reads “which worm would you rather see in the neighborhood?” George Marshall e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org checkout: www.users.interport.net/~ earthcel/newsletter.html
Landrights on the air
Conditional Exemption is the intriguing scheme under which landowners can avoid paying inheritance tax on property if they allow public access – but they don’t have to tell the public. Mark Thomas, the TV comedian and campaigner, has been pursuing this story and its villains all over the country in recent months. Following the excellent C4 Dispatches program on the abuses of the scheme, a leaflet has been produced explaining how you can hunt out historic houses and lands which are under the scheme in your area. Contact Tip off a Toff, PO Box 4000, London W12 8UF / 0990 118879 / email@example.com. Observant people may have spotted TLIO activists on screen during the recent series on Wednesday nights, trying to gain access to a stately home in Warwickshire which has received 7.5 million in Lottery money and is conditionally exempt but has token (and in some parts of the estate non-existent) public access agreements
Housing, Greenfield or Brown?
Future housing needs are catching the headlines with The Friends of the Earth `halt greenfield housing’ conference making front page news in the independent, demonstrating growing concern over the government’s projected figures of 4.4 – 5.4 million new households expected between 1991 and 2016. These are due not to population growth but instead as a result of changing social trends.
Commercial interest in filling this hypothetical gap in the market would be hugely damaging to remaining greenfield sites previously protected around cities, while providing a bonus for opportunistic developers keen to exploit the lower land prices.
TLIO has campaigned for low cost housing in cities, as exemplified at the Wandsworth `Pure Genius’ site and also questions the validity of such a rhetoric, being a classic predict and provide model parallel to that of road building. It is likely that it will take several years for these figures to work their way through the system by which time house building companies will be heavily promoting their developments and dismissing opposition as NIMBLE.
The conference was a starting point for public debate into this complex issue questioning the endless development on greenfield sites and looking to find sustainable alternative solutions.
The government has since responded to various calls brought up at the conference, by ordering a national audit of brownfield sites i.e. ex-industrial land, allowing for development in existing urban areas. At the same time, John Prescott is considering a proposal to tax green field land values, based on value added to rural land by building:
It is likely that existing urban areas will have a capacity to provide for as much as 60 – 70% of new houses required according to research so far. This would pose new design challenges to planning authorities and house build ers and have an impact on the way existing urban residents live, reducing open spaces within towns and contributing to inner city overcrowding and the follow on effects such as increased pollution caused by increased density of population.
It is important that this is an issue that remains in the public eye, as at present, the house building development companies are setting the agenda, profiting from low greenfield land prices, an increase in the house buying market, and social trends of fragmentation.
It is important that we do not allow increasing erosion of the remaining green spaces left in this country , and that a sustainable vision of urban and rural housing is pursued, with affordable low impact housing providing homes for people who need them, and not simply providing an opportunity for profiteering for the property developers.
FoE have produced an excellent guide for communities fighting housing developments. Send £7 for “Stopping the Sprawl” to Publications Dispatch, Friends of the Earth, 56 – 58 Alma St, Luton, LUl 2PH or phone 01582 482297 (2 – 4pm).
Sleeping giant awakes: A community group in South Wales is fighting to prevent the reopening of a quarry that has been unused for over for ty years. News of the plan to put the site back into active service came as a shock to local residents, who had no idea that planning permission for this existed. It appears that the quarry is still under an Interim Development Order granted immediately after World War II. These planning measures were designed to stimulate the postwar economy, and are valid for 100 years. Local activist Liz Wright has found that the National Parks Authority are powerless to intervene in the case, so “It’s down to us”. She is looking to contact any other groups with experience of fighting this sort of development. firstname.lastname@example.org
Carbeth, Glasgow: Over 100 butters (out of 185 sites) are withholding rent in protest at a 40% rise and threat to `upgrade’ this site just outside from a haven where the poor of Glasgow can enjoy access to the countryside in basic home-made wooden cabins into a luxury time-share site. One eviction notice has been temporarily held off on a technicality (the definition of the word whitsunday in Scots law), but four are still pending. contact Carbeth Hutters Association, 0141-562-5640 or 81 White St., Glasgow G11 5DD.
Greenham Common: the original university of nonviolent direct action, is now under threat from a huge corporate development. The land was sold off to Newbury District Council in 1991, and in a court case last December the judge ruled that commoners rights had been extinguished at this time. There is much legal evidence to suggest that this is not the case, but the council are eager to get their hands on the £15million the developers have promised them if they are allowed to build. There is a case about all this in the High Court in London on March 4th, and support would be much appreciated. For information ring: 01635 269109.
Euro parliament support right of way…
A case brought by three pro-landowner campaigners that local councils were acting unlawfully in enforcing rights of way has been rejected by the European Parliament. Under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act, councils have certain rights to confiscate land when ensuring that rights of way on definitive maps are open to the public. A spokesman for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions said “While it can be a nuisance to have a right of way across your land, it’s not as bad as a lot of people fear”
Sustainable transport ever harder…
In a response to the gro wing threat of charges for cycling on towpaths reported in TLIO newsletter 10, Peter Bews of Derbyshire converted his tricycle into a pedal-powered coracle .
Source of Rights of Way News…
If you can get hold of a copy, Waymark, the journal of Rights of Way Officers, is a mine of information on roaming matters. Did you know that ostriches are not allowed on bridleways? PO box 78, Skipton, N Yorkshire, BD23 4UP 07000 782318
Bodgers dodge Bodger..
Bodger White, who lives in, manages and works coppice woodlands at Ashes Forest, Gloucester, has returned from a walk to Westminster, following council moves to evict him from his low-impact life-place. Despite walking 165 miles with his dog, Dillon, no MP was available to meet him on arrival.
Green Top laid low…
Paul Griffiths writes warning that Green Top or unpasteurised milk is again under threat from hygeine laws. “Support your local producer and be prepared to fight to save this valuable commodity in this increasingly sterile world”.
Try Denting it…
A massive `ploughshares’ anti-Trident action is planned for this August. Activists will publicly commit to the action before doing it. A comprehensive briefing paper is available form. Angie Zelter c% 42-46 Bethel St, Norwich NR2 1NR
TLIO windmill felled…
The TLIO windmill, known to many from the gantry at Gargoyle Wharf, was chopped off a van during the eviction of the antiquarry camp at Dead Woman’s Bottom in Somerset. It has been powering the Stonehenge campaign over the last year.
Art in the Park…
No Business on the Moor held a high-profile art exhibition and auction in support of the campaign to protect Newcastle’s open spaces.
Gargoyle Wharf-Community Action Group
GWCAG have been very active in recent weeks. Campaigning has included a site walk and sponsored bungee jump in which 72 year old great-grandma Clare Kakembo took part; raising £200 for Gargoyle Wharf funds she said, “I was terrified. Jumping like that goes against all human instincts, but the people up there more or less talked me through it.” The event was covered by local press, and BBC1 news for the South East. Meetings with Rialto Homes (the new landowners), the Wandsworth Society and Cllr Govinda (Chair of planning committee for Borough of Wandsworth) have been encouraging. A `wish-list’ of community wants and needs has been drawn up, which include s basic facilities such as affordable housing, employment opportunities for local people, landscaping provision and a multi-purpose community venue. When Rialto make a planning application for the site in the very near future, it will provide a vital chance for public comment on the proposals which may or may not sway Wandsworth planning officers and the committee. Check the GWCAG website on for more info, or Linda Rapley, secretary to GWCAG, 6 Lerwick House, Usk Road, London, SW11 2RR. or: Ernest 0181 672 9698
Low Impact Criteria Working Group:
The “Low Impact Criteria” has now been formulated and there soon will be a proper `launch’. This is a very important development, which could make it a lot easier for low impact projects to develop in the future. The idea is that the guidelines will act as a `seal of approval’ in a similar way to the Soil Association’s organic symbol. Hopefully the criteria will eventually gain recognition from planners etc. making it easier for approved projects to get funding. For more info contact: Simon Fairlie, 01935 881975
The Natty Trust is a Charitable Trust, based in Brighton, which is acquiring degraded land to sus tainably rehabilitate for the public benefit. The Trust is also working to provide resources and support for sustainable community development projects elsewhere. They are holding a `Barn-raising’ gathering throughout August to launch the first site Contact The Natty Trust, 01273 234035, n attytrust@ gn.apc.org
Stepping Stones Housing Co-op
One solution to getting access to land is to get ethical finance for a Housing Co-op and buy it. The difficulty here is firstly that land is too expensive for affordable rents to cover the mortgage repayment; and many properties sell at auction, making raising the money very difficult. Stepping Stones is a Housing Co-op that thinks it may have found some solutions. By developing a business plan that gets part of its income from rents and part from Workers’ Co-ops renting land and workspace, it can afford to buy small farms. And by working with Radical Routes and Triodos Bank on a `model’ loan application, it can raise finance with lightning speed.
Stepping Stones needs more members so that it can start looking for properties in England and Wales in the next year. If you’d like to live and work on an ecohamlet (vegetarian, basic incomes, committed to social change), they’d like to hear from you: Cartref, Llanegryn, Tywyn, Gwynedd LL36 9SN.
On the evening of December 22, 45 indigenous people were shot and killed in Chiapas- the region of Mexico where the Zapatista movement is active in struggles including that over the land rights of indigenous peoples. They were killed and dismembered by paramilitary groups supported by the ruling PRI party, as part of the ongoing repression against the mobilisation of indigenous peoples. For details of on-going support action contact: Zapatista support : email@example.com.
Nukak Nomads get 1st Xmas pressie in 500 years
Colombian Nukak Tribe get best Christmas present for 500 years thanks to the Survival Campaign. For 500 years these tribal people, one of Amazonia’s last nomadic tribes, have seen their land stolen from them, their people decimated by diseases brought from outsiders. Recently they have had battles fought within their land by incoming settlers wanting to grow coca (used to produce cocaine), and those wishing to prevent them, mainly the Colombian military who have been spraying the coca plantations with herbicide. This in turn has attracted the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) the main left wing guerrilla army of Colombia in retaliation. The Nukak have therefore become embroiled in Colombia’s quasi-civil war. They ha ve not only suffered occasional massacres at the hands of the colonists, but have seen half of their population die from Western diseases since 1988, dwindling from 1,000 to an estimated present day 500. Survival have been campaigning to protect these people for six years and in 1991 managed to see a reserve being established that protected 60% of Nukak lands. Unfortunately the 40% of their territory not included was that most heavily colonised by coca growers and still therefore causing immense pressure upon Nukak lifestyle. Continued campaigning by Survival has finally managed to see the creation of a `resguardo’ (reservation with recognition of Indian land title) that includes all Nukak land by the Colombian government on the 23rd December `97. Stephen Corry, Survival’s director says; “This is the best Christmas present the Nukak have received for 500 years and is proof that campaigning here leads to real changes in Amazonia.” For more information, contact Survival: 0171 242 1441
KMP visits TLIO
KMP are the peasant movement of the Philippines, and are comparable in size and organisation to the MST of Brazil. On the 28th January, Jayson Cainglet their campaign officer came to visit and tell us about a current crisis in the Philippines. Hacienda Looc, 9km south of Manila, the Philippine capital is an area of land 8,650 hectare wide that is home to over 10,000 peasant families who were given title under the government land reform program.The fertile land and sea coast it borders provide a variety of crops & fish, as well as having extensive areas of virgin tropical forest. In’95 the government cancelled their title declaring that they were instead `non-productive squatters’ and are moving to dislocate them while making way for developers who are planning on using the sight for a massive tourist complex that will have 4 golf courses designed by international league golfers, 2 marinas that will be carved out of an existing mountain side, as well as the necessary hotels and casinos that go with any tourist complex. The tourist haven will have a members fee of £10,000. The shares for the development have already been sold in advance to raise funds; two shareholders you might recognise are Michael Jackson & Sharon Stone. The kind of madness that comes from unchecked global neo-liberalism. Other similar projects are feared. Future actions here in the UK are planned in solidarity. If you are interested contact Lilia at the TLIO office.
European Policy. The ESDP:
It’s big, it’s silent and it’s coming your way The 1st official draft of the European Spatial Development Perspective released mid 1997 is about to come to the forefront of EU deb ate in June this year, at a time when Britain holds the EU presidency.
Although the ESDP is only an advisory document, it means business. Its seeks to use the territory of the EU as a medium for identifying, implementing and coordinating major EU policy and resource allocations such as economic assistance for rural areas, strategic transport investment and urban regeneration claiming to achieve sustainable development and socioeconomic cohesion; however it is essentially concerned with facilitating economic growth and management of the various unwelcome side. The ESDP articulates the needs of bigbusiness at the expense of others:
“While market forces increasingly operate at the European level, spatial policies are still often devised at national or even lower levels, making it difficult to exploit to the full the opportunities for spatial development of Europe what are opening up”
It is likely that major infrastructure projects such as high speed road and rail links gain greater political support, major cities have been dubbed as `Gateways’ to greater prosperity for their regions. Such growth is inherently uneven, there is scant debate on the issue of opening up rural areas for more sustainable modes of living.
It is often said that decisions are made on our behalf by exper ts. In most cases this is not the case, as planners are faced with interpreting central government policy which results from serious high level lobbying and the political flavour `de jour’. There is a need more than ever to present alternative views and proposals from ordinary people through the planning process, either in structure and local plan reviews or with individual planning applications. Pre-emptive strikes on dormant or neglected patches of land could assist in establishing local support for a community inspired site brief to be endorsed by the local council, useful in negotiating with developers and their agents. Work done in pioneering low impact living is also a challenge to the `system’.
Documents such as the ESDP are beyond the reach of us mere mortals but persistent local action remains effective in making local development decisions more acceptable to local people.
Land – Who Owns It (or claims to)
There have only been two detailed published surveys of land ownership in this country – obviously Domesday Book was the first, and the other was by a Victorian squire named John Bateman.
Work is starting on a National Land Information Service, but this seems to have been changed along the way to becoming a way of increasing revenues for the information providers and a better service for the intended users but not cheaper, easier or accessible if you are a member of the public.
David Holland is currently researching a project for establishing a database of land ownership in England with a view to publishing how much – or little – is owned by what percentage of the population. “It seems to me that it would advance public knowledge considerably if there were to be an open system of recording land ownership, as is the case in many other countries. The aim is to produce this in time for the end of the millennium. Without the facts it is impossible to argue any case for land reform”.
David is currently researching sources of information and funding for this huge cataloguing task.
If you have any comment to make or offer of help then please phone him on 01509 218124 (ansaphone) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget that Tony Gosling is still working on a register of unowned land: lets make sure that it goes to local communities and low-impact dwellers before the developers find out where it all is! email@example.com or 10 Highwood Close, Orpington, Kent BR6 8HT
Thank you to everyone who sent in their responses to our SOS in News letter 11. They have been invaluable in helping us to come to grips with many of the issues involved.
One of the strengths of TLIO has been its fluid structure: we can encompass a range of attitudes and actions and avoid narrow hierarchies. But when it comes to making major decision, our lack of representative bodies lets us down. National gatherings set long-term goals but cannot provide the week-by-week guidance that TLIO needs in order to continue to thrive. We are therefore working on a draft structure for a TLIO core group, which will be taken to discussion at the National Gathering on 18 April. If you would like to have input into this proposal at this stage, please contact the TLIO Networking Office. In the meantime, Heather Winship, our office administrator, has been offered an extension to her contract until 1 June, to give us the time to create a steering group able to take decisions regarding finance and paid workers.
With a major action on the way and a national gathering hot on its heels, we are set to have a radical, inventive and inspiring 1998. ¨ TLIO networking group
APPEAL UPDATE £ £
Thank you to everyone who responded to our appeal in winter’s newsletter 12, helping us to raise £2000 pounds. This was wonderful but is only just helping to keep us afloat as the cost of a growing TLIO demands more and more of our funds. With the help our donors have given us over the last few years we have successfully financed the office, a part time administrator, a quarterly newsletter, our website and helped many TLIO local groups set up and become established. We are also applying for grant aid to help us. This newsletter is currently circulated to 4000 people in Britain, free of charge. We would like to see it continue as a free resource but humbly ask for a donation to keep us going. Each mailout costs over £1000, or about £3 a year for each person so any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps you could even take out a small standing order to help fund us. Just £1 a month will help keep us going. Here are our bank details:- account name: The Land Is Ours, account number: 50013380, sort code: 08-90-38. At Oxford Co-operative bank. Thank you.
7-8 March: Zapatista Challenge Conference: About struggles for humanity and against neoliberalism in Britain & worldwide. Praxis Centre, Pott St, London E2 (nearest tube: Bethnal Green) £2.50/£1.50 wagedlunwagedphone 0114 276 5675/222 5102 for details.
8 March: Planning meeting for Diggers commemoration; 5.30pm Brown’s Wood Library, Brown’s Wood Rd, Finsbury Park. The Advisory Service for Squatters want to commemorate the Diggers in a big way next year so come to this 1st meeting if you want to get involved. Food will follow. Contact Jim Paton: 0171482 5023
2nd week in March: Meeting of Cornwall local group in Helston.
March 28th-29th: TLIO Mass Trespass in south east England. See front page for details.
1st April: Diggers Day, Winstanley and the Diggers remembered. For possible actions contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
3-5 April: Gathering Visions, Gathering Strength II. Manchester University. “A gathering to bring together direct activists across movements and generations to explore social change and how we can do it”. Last years event was superbly organised and truly inspiring – a talking shop full of people who know what they’re talking about! Contact Cath at CND, One World Centre, 6 Mount St, Manchester M2 5NS 0161 83 8301 or email: email@example.com
4th April: “Gathering for Change”, Goldsmith College, London, SE14, 10-5. Organised by the London21 Sustainability Network to address the issue “How can London build a sustainable urban economy from the bottom up?”. Contact 0171 722 3710.
4-5 April: Turner’s Field Permaculture (in Somerton, Somerset) host a special weekend for volunteers, with a focus on planning issues. An excellent opportunity to get together with like-minded folk, learn skills, and discuss tactics for getting planning permission to live on the land. Phone Ann if interested, and bear in mind that you will need a tent, and there are strictly NO DOGS allowed. Contact Ann Morgan on 01458 442192.
11th April: Urban D.I.Y. action in Bristol contact 0181 657 985.
18-19 April: TLIO National gathering read front page article for info.
18th April: National Save the Green Belt Rally. If you can’t make it to the TLIO National Gathering on 18 April, Friends of the Earth and Case Against Stevenage Expansion are organising the National Save the Green Belt Rally. This will be a family walk in picturesque countryside, starting at Stevenage Town centre from 11.00. 10,000 houses are due to be built in the Hertfordshire Green Belt. FoE Housing campaigner Simon Festing said “Numbers of people are important if we are to send a clear message to Government..”. Call the hotline 0171 566 1698
May: Pure Genius revisited: Contact Kirk to confirm: 0171 350 0830.
May: Marion Shoard talk: Author of recently republished “This Land is our Land” will be coming to Oxford to give a talk and for book signing. Contact the Oxford Office for details.
1-4 May: MayDay 98, Bradford. “Capitalism has not gone away..We think that the potential’s now there for new things to emerge..going way beyond the crap that traditionally passes for politics” A conference, and a week of events organised by Bradford’s 1 in 12 club. Contact: PO Box HH57 Leeds LS8 5XG 0117 907 3667
16 May: Plans are afoot for a global RTS 0171 281 4621 to coincide with the G8 meeting in Birmingham: 50 years of GATT
16th June: Strawberry Fair, Midsummer Common, Cambridge. Tel: 01223 560160.
20-21 June: Leamington Peace Festival, Pump Room Gardens, Leamington.
23-26 July: Big Green Gathering, Warminster, Wiltshire.