Festival ‘n Trav’ ‘n Party ‘n Protest Stories
Have collected together, here, a selection of accounts, reports and emails, on peoples lifestyle experiences.
They give some idea of of what it’s like for them …..
Police break up illegal rave (Mutant Dance)
Here’s a note on the party in Bristol on saturday night, a bit boring perhaps but I’m trying to be complete. Here are the events of the night as I saw and remember them.
I arrived at at the party at approx. 2.00am, having spent the day at the festival. There were two systems running underneath the A38 flyover, with about 300 people dancing, wondering around or sitting around a fire. Directly above the systems, parked on the flyover, were a number of police vans and cars, (when I left I counted nine vans and two cars). The police at this time were just waiting, some of them blocking the stairways onto the flyover, most of them just watching from the flyover balcony and refusing to reply to any attempts to make contact with the people below. Later a group of about 20 police gathered roughly 100 yards away towards the river, kitting up with helmets and shields. Up to this point I witnessed no violence or vandalism of any sort amongst the partyers. The crowd was internally very friendly, but I felt a slightly edgy atmosphere develop, and some people did take the piss out of the assembled police – no response. The Noise Pollution crew (the nearer system to where the police were preparing), playing acid techno, were keeping an eye on things and eventually requested that people form a ring around the system, stand together and otherwise behave in a peaceful but resolute manner. Some negotiation may have taken place, because at this stage the last record had been played, although the other system, (playing drum and bass) continued. The ring duly formed around the system, but not the two generators. These were situated directly below the flyover balcony, behind the vans and system. Earlier, I watched the police identify these from the flyover balcony as one of their objectives. Eventually the police moved towards the system at a jogging pace, heading towards the undefended generators, (from where I watched events unfold; other groups of police may also have moved in at this stage, but I couldn’t see from where I was). Roughly 15 of the police had shields, a few others ran ahead, along side and behind. There was a scramble of party-goers around the side of the system to reach and defend the unguarded generators. One policeman managed to unplug one of the generators and then retreated as perhaps 30-50 people flooded into the space by one of the system trailers and the generators. Around 10 people jumped on top of the larger of the generators to prevent its confiscation; shortly they began to complain that it was rather a hot thing to be sitting on, and someone manged to ease their situation by turning the thing off. As this was occuring, the police with shields moved into the crowd and started to push people, some of them against the van, and asked the crowd to move back. For perhaps 20-30 people there was nowhere to move back to and we pushed back. Most of the sheilded police applied pressure more or less evenly, but two of them, nearest the trailer, seemed to become agitated, and repeatedly beat foreward members of the crowd with their shields. One of these was thrown back into the crowd, beaten down and then dragged through the shield-wall. These two shield police had their lower faces covered and would not respond to requests for some kind of identification. Also at this stage a group of police appeared to try to get the doors of the trailer open. A man trying to stop this was thrown aginst the side of the trailer repeatedly, and when sufficiently subdued was dragged away. Cries of “you need a warrant” were shouted and this group of police backed off. All of these events were filmed from behind the shield wall by at least two police using hand-held video recorders. A stand-off developed; the pressure from the shield wall continued, though things calmed down a little. Some partyers, upset, voiced their complaints about the police behavior, some insulted the police, but calls for calm were made from within the crowd. I think one more man was grabbed from the front of the crowd during this time. This continued for some 10-15 minutes. Eventually the crowd began to sing “Happy Birthday”, appropriate for the occasion, and I think proving that the crowds’ intent was not violent. At this stage the shield wall began to recede, giving people a little breathing space. Eventually the police moved all the way back to their starting point some 100yards away. As dawn began to break the police held back, although for some time they appeared to be preparing for another foray from their assembly point. Some people began to leave, but most moved over to the other system to continue the party and discuss events. I didn’t see what happened to the other system, although when I left at about 4.30am the music was still playing, and a ring of metal railings had been erected right around the system and dancing area.
My [his!] story..
…I was stood behind the speakers, aware that a line of brightly shiney cops were advancing for a second time on the left flank of the party, ravers were moving to counter this. Then out of the blue what seemed like 20odd blacked out piggies injected themselves into the small space behind the decks and started pilling in, I saw them charge in an endless stream bringing dogs in the final lines. I moved away shitting bricks because 1) a friend of mine was mixing at the time of the attack a looked like he was first in the firing line and 2) I had his bag containing his gubbins which I didn’t want to get caught with.
I moved out towards freedom, cursing the very sun that was rising in front of me. Then turning, forgetting the contents of my bag I went back for a closer look. Where the soundsystem was, was now a ring of beasties, most with balaclavas on underneath their riot shielding. Surrounding them was a ring of ravers, I think even though the piggies had armour, dogs, sticks ulimited resources and no numbers on their sleeves they were a bit scared (I am not surprised after what they hed just done). I got close enough to hear the breaking of glass and the crunch of wood and metal. I thought they were ripping everything to bits.
I went to sit by a tree, close enough but far away to skin up and reflect. The police all scarpered, leaving the pieces of the party they had just wrecked for the distraught to pick up. That is what I saw and remember, I am still very shook up.
These people have no respect for humanity and will not know the concequences of their actions on their valuable police force army thing. I myself managed to stay SAFE at that do, but I know people who had no choice but to be on the front line.
As newage travellers and ravers, we may face the same opression as jews, blacks and gays and have to fight the ame timeless battles. But how can we fight when hammered on substances unknown and faced with such an evil force. I’m gibbering now sorry, I’m still upset. The party was just geting cooking. Sectioned, I think that record you played with the throbbing boom blah, upset them a bit.
Bristol Evening Post want witnesses of Police Action on Mutant Dance Party
this is from a reporter on Bristol Evening Post … they can’t write anything unless people tell them what happened. If you were there, *please* contact them ..
I’m Sarah Feeley, a reporter on the Bristol Evening Post (the one who interviewed Penelope Pitstop). My telephone number is 0117 934 3336. I can call you straight back to save your phone bill. I need to hear as soon as possible from eyewitnesses who saw the clash between music fans and police at the event in Bristol last weekend. I’ve read your comments with great interest, but I need names and more details before I can print. Legally, our newspaper is on very very dodgy ground quoting people anonymously, especially with an ‘alleged police brutality’ story. But if people come forward and are prepared to tell me their name and their experiences, I can put together a body of evidence in a news story (within the law) and the police will be asked to comment publicly on it. The sad fact is, unless more of you like Penelope Pitstop are brave enough to come forward and be identified, I can’t write the story which you all are complaining has not yet been published. We don’t make these rules, but if we don’t stick to them, we’d get sued and so would you. Help me help you. Speed is of the essence. I can be reached on 0117 934 3336 until 5pm, and then my colleagues will be on 0117 934 3331 until 11pm.
Re:Mutant Dance Free Party (Saturday 20th Jul, 2002)
More info required by new persons collecting info Call Ben 01179514129 or Kebelle Cafe they are after info on violence witnessed and injuries sustained to help other victims of the police brutality. Please help if you know anyone who was there or got injured please pass on these numbers.
Also we still need photos or video of what happened please pass on to me Matthew 01380 860994 home or 07977657469 mobile (doesnt take answer messages) home does take answer messages.
I am collecting all photos and video and going to edit together to show to news media and others. If you need a copy to help fight your case contact me. Also on tape is BBC Bristol report on the incident which shows Mike (the chef) who had a broken hand and Seyonide Simon with bruise marks on his back and legs.
We need to keep moving on this to stop the police getting away with it. A good idea is to write a letter of complaint. The police were bragging that nobody had complained to them abou the nights activities. Just wait I say… those complaints are in the post! Dont be worried about complaining, I have done it before now and won my complaint. If you need advice on complaints procedures from me feel free to call.
Matthew Williams (lighting for Animators and Noise Pollution) email: email@example.com
Bristol party attack – ‘official complainants’ needed
Having been at the party Sat 20th, “Cumberland Beirut”, a number of my “co-conspirators” (eh!!!!!)& I have been trying to find out who was arrested, what for and details. So far only two have come forward out of the five. We need all of you. It seems that the only people entitled to view the police video footage are those arrested, and only if it is to be used as evidence. We need to check this out in more detail so if you have reliable sources of legal information, or are a lawyer etc. etc. please help us out with your knowledge! You will not be implicated or identified any more than you wish, but we really need your account of the brutal heavy handed attack the police instigated. We have been speaking to a “duty inspector” who informed us that the only way anything will be investigated, is for an official complaint/complaints, (the more the better!), to be made. Therefore, anyone and everyone present that night, please send an official complaint to:-
Chief Constable, Steve Pilkington, Avon & Somerset Constabulary, P.O. box 37 (are they scared of us knowing where they live?????!) Valley Rd. Portishead, BS20 8QJ also if you could send a copy to the following in case the rednecks club (ouch) together:- Police Complaints Authority, 10, Great George St. London, SW1P 3AE
Also… could you help re this query???! To my knowledge, a white cross on a green square means “first aid”??? but it seems that training in, erm how can I say this, “healing” isn’t exclusive to dishing out the damage in the first place!!!! We are currently in touch with a large amount of the media bbc htv and the local and national papers. They are genuinely very interested in our side of the story but, without really good damning evidence of the police[thugs] hitting kicking headbutting us, then their [media] hands are tied. However they are still going to possibly run with more coverage at the next significant date[can’t divulge when at this time,keep your ear to the ground]. However, if anybody has photos, moving or still, of Saturday, can we please see them because they may be bright enough for the newspapers to use, or might have better more accurate or detailed imagery… (it just takes one good snapshot)
Above all don’t let it stop you partying, (as if), stick together… stay fluffy but firm… No violence, but no silence!!! Defence not attack… Protect yourselves! Take camera/ dictophone, helmet, padding, motoX mask, womble suit, first aid kits (anaesthetic!!!!!)etc. etc. etc…. DISARM but DON’T HARM!
Please contact Nicky, (cosnic), telephone/text 07775838549 or email Jon.E … firstname.lastname@example.org
Mutant Dance party – yet another story
another story from DirtyCircus:
This is what I saw: (thanks to Battie BTW)
The police planned the violence completely. They lined up guys with torches on the flyover overlooking the crowd. Then underneath the flyover the riot squad moved in. They grabbed one person from the front of the crowd and dragged him behind their line and started to beat him up. The crowd went mad and started shouting and some even pushing the police line of riot shields. They were angry at what was being shown to them by the police. This was a deliberate tactic by the police, because then the torch lights on the flyover went on and this event was surely filmed by the police from upstairs to show that the crowd were rowdy. However after the lights went off the guy was no longer beaten up and was cuffed and taken away.
This shows how low the police are. The crowd werent being violent so they had to spark it off! This is one of the things I am going to mention in my complaint. The other involved the use of cameras and video to stop the police hitting extra people indiscriminately. The use of cameras and video helped stop a lot more people getting hurt. These sly pigs were very aware not to be caught on camera hitting people, however some of it was caught. Thats why we need more photos of bad stuff if we can get it, to prove how much there was going on from the police towards the crowd.
The whole thing could have been avoided totally by a couple of coppers giving a deadline for the system being turned off. The organisers were quite prepared to comply…
I saw the police letting people in to the rave minutes up to the time they actually went in with the heavy riot squad. One riot pig said just before they went in “It doesnt matter if you turn the system off, we are going to get you anyway”.
When we asked the normal coppers if they wanted the system turned off they said “No we are packing up and going now”, which wasnt true because 10 mins later the riot squad came in full force. So what exactly were the organisers and party people meant to do, fucking mind read? There was a major breakdown in communication from the police to us, and that needs to be mentioned. It didnt take 50, 60 or 70 officers to stop that party. 3 could have done it easily and with no agression needed!
Mutant Dance party – still more stories
by Bob Pilchard
Yep, I was there that night, at said free party. The police were there (about 10 – 15) of them from the very beggining, and I tried to hood wink myself that they were there `for our own good` and there purely to keep an eye on proceedings `cos of ..er..the Ashton court festie that had just finished for that night. No such luck. I think that most places can be costrued as `silly` places to hold parties. I`m not sure if local residents could here the music that night (if so, I`m sure they prefer the sound of the busy traffic on the road on which the `illegal rave` was held under..), but it was a bit stoopid to light a fire underneath. So more police turned up and were generally not helpful with our queries, loitered furtivelly and looked mean. One of them refused to tell me the time. We took lots of photos, as they appeared to get more and more on top, shining powerfull flood lights on people from the road above, etc. I don`t think that they liked the idea that all these free thinking anarchist types were having a laugh just around the corner from the local police equestrian and dog handling centre. Also, someone managed to sneakily place some scaffolding against the side of the fly-over and climb up and – just in time – steal a riot shield, which naturally sent everyone bonkers with mirth, teehee. Ten minutes later or so it was returned, good humouredly. Maybe. As mentioned, and to cut a long story short, the riot police turned up in force at 5ish that morning and trashed the fucking place, damaging and/ or stealing equipment, frightening, hurting and generally attacking anyone and everyone who tried to rescue friends or belongings. They were trying out what looked like horrible U.S. style mini social contol experiments, attacking here and there, retreating, huddling into funny formations,etc, etc. The most distressing point for me was when they fought their way to the decks (as music was still playing) and started trashing everything. I`ll never forget the sound of baton on vinyl… So how draconian are they going to get? It`s like something from the middle ages. Why don`t they go and catch some criminals? I`ve never experienced such blatant violence on behalf of the police at a free party before – sending in thugs to snap records, honestly. I think it`s really duff, but I shall certainly make the effort to go to future parties – with a better camera this time – if I feel that I want to enjoy myself with me mates. Fuck the 2008 `City of Culture` bid – free parties are part of our culture and yet (again) it`s exactly what the authorities want to stamp out (quite literally!) The last thing that i want is to be zapped with negative energy by the police or end up in nasty confrontations, but I refuse to be intimidated like this, by jumped up bully boys employed by the law.
Police Attack on Mutant Dance party – more accounts
taken from bristol indymedia-
A free party was viciously attacked last weekend by over 50 riot cops. Partygoers arrived just after midnight at the site in Cumberland Basin, near Ashton court. Two soundsystems started up soon afterwards, as more people arrived from all directions to join the dance and have a laugh together. At that time there was a minimal police presence and no sign of trouble. All this changed with the arrival of a police helicopter and around a dozen riot vans shortly before 2 o’clock. The partygoers just got on with partying, but it soon became clear that the police, tooling up in riot gear, were preparing to come in. The word went out from the sound systems that the police were intending to seize sound equipment and stop the party. What happened next was totally inspiring. People surrounded the crews and their systems, some linking arms, to protect them, and to resist police attempts to close the party down. As the riot cops moved in a big defiant shout went up and people got solid. There was no order to disperse or discussion of the law. The cops were there simply to mete out a bit of traditional British Justice, and when asked to think it through for themselves and not to start unnecessary conflict, gave no response. There were blank expressions at the question “where’s the muggers, officer?”. Most wore masks to cover their faces and no numbers, to ensure no comeback. Scuffles broke out as people stood their ground in the face of attack, and by determined resistance and force of numbers, forced the cops to beat a retreat. One sound system turned off, but another kept going for 4 hours until around 6 o’clock in the morning, when the police returned complete with police dogs in force. Again they stormed in with no warning, to baton charge people whose only “crime” was wanting to dance together without being ripped of by profiteering clubs or corporate culture vultures, and organising for themselves. Crime against the state? Apparently yes. Police boots and batons closed the party down at sunrise in an operation that any fascist dictator would be proud of. There were six arrests and many injured. Predictably enough the Evening Pest spouted out the police version of events under the headline “Officers hurt in rave attack”. But people are not going to let media lies or police intimidation tactics and violence go unchallenged, and nor will it stop the free parties.
There will be legal action against Avon and Somerset Constabulary and benefit gigs for sound equipment trashed or confiscated by the police. Anyone arrested or assaulted on the night please contact us. You could have a good case against the police and we can you put you in touch with good solicitors. We also need witnesses for those arrested and assaulted. Any camera/video footage will be very important. It is worth jamming up the police complaints authority, and this will help those suing the police to have a better case. Let’s make them pay. Stay solid, and carry on partying.
Contacts : 07810601703 0117 9514129
Account by woman beaten up by cops at free party by unstoppable 7:44pm Mon Jul 22 ’02 email@example.com Police violence against free party – an account from a woman on the receiving end of “public order policing”
Account from woman beaten up by police at the free party on 21st July
Got to party around 1:30 –2am. Walked from Coronation Road to Hotwells under the motorway. On arrival seen police on top of motorway but as they were at a distance I did not pay much attention to them. As the day had been very chilled and relaxed at Ashton court I decided to totally enjoy myself and went straight to the sound system for a dance. Shortly after arriving at the party someone said the police were going to come and take the sound system. I stayed dancing and didn’t see any police so I presumed the party was allowed to go ahead. Very pleasant evening. Nice people. Nice music. No trouble. As it was getting bright word had it that the sound system was going to be taken. I didn’t pay much attention again as rumours had been going around all night. Then all of a sudden they were everywhere. I was standing behind the system. A police man came up and told me to get out of the way. I ignored him and stayed standing where I was. He pushed me and I fell to the ground. Then two of them began hitting me on the legs with their batons. This made me extremely angry. Even though my legs were aching I stood back up with the rest of the crowd. At this point I was quite loudly saying stuff like ” You can’t make me stop dancing”, and just dancing while the police began to retreat. They backed away down to one corner of the park which the motorway runs over. At this point I thought they would just leave it but they didn’t. Instead they charged at the crowd. I don’t remember much apart from being knocked to the ground and repeatedly hit on my calves, thighs, stomach and chest. As I was at the front of the crowd I did not see what happened to other people, but I do remember standing up and seeing a girl near me on the ground getting the same treatment. I was in shock at this stage so I wasn’t paying much attention to what the police were doing after this. My feelings about the incident are not good. I do not think I posed any threat and definitely did not deserve the beating I got from fully equipped riot policemen. I am eight and a half stone and it should not take three heavy weight policemen to control me. If I was doing wrong why didn’t they bundle me into a police van and place me under arrest. As far as I could see they were determined to give people a beating. They were not civil and they weren’t doing what we pay them to do, which is supposedly to protect us from danger.
Response to Evening Pest misreporting of police attack on free party.
by LynneColes 3:06pm Tue Jul 23 ’02
The Evening Pest was told what to say about it by the police. Here’s another version.
A response to the lies of the Evening Post in the article of Monday 22nd July ; “Officers hurt in rave attack” (page 3). This was sent to the evening Pest. Let’s see if they print it! We encourage others who were there at the free party to write and hassle the Evening Post about their journalistic standards (?) :
I was disgusted to read such a biased and distorted account of events, whilst still recovering myself from such a horrific display of police brutality. There was an attack and that was by the police, dressed in full riot gear, armed with batons and shields, on a group of unarmed young people as they were dancing. If the police wanted to end the ‘illegal rave’, they had the perfect opportunity to do so without violence or confrontation at the beginning of the evening. Police officers were present when the two vans containing the sound equipment arrived on site, before partygoers had arrived. So why was no action taken then? There were only two small sound systems and there is no residential housing in the area. How could holding a party under a motorway flyover cause a public nuisance? Police have let parties go ahead at this site on previous occasions. No attempt was made to end the party peaceably. Despite continuous police presence throughout the night there was no communication with the crowd, no warning of what offence was being committed or of what action would be taken. Around twelve riot vans parked on the flyover overhead. One individual approached the police and was told that the owners of the equipment would not be allowed to pack up and leave, that they were going to go in and confiscate the equipment. Police Inspector Mike Anderson is quoted as saying that “it was clear a rave at this location would put a risk of harm to those attending…’ I fail to see what possible risk there was in dancing under a motorway flyover on a piece of recreation ground with a bunch of friends.
How can a supposed “risk of harm” justify police baton charging a group of unarmed, unsuspecting youngsters, thereby turning a “risk” into a bloody certainty? When people are attacked by officers in riot gear, bashed around the head, chest, legs, and arms with batons, trampled to the ground….should we be surprised if some try to defend themselves and their mates? There are worse offences than wanting to carry on partying after the successful Ashton Court festival. While the police spent the evening beating up young kids, I wonder how many other violent crimes were being committed.
Mutant Dance party – another story
Right then Dancing by the rig when I notice about 15 riot police walking up. Carry on dancing and the next thing I know I’m getting pushed and hit on the back of my head. Turn round to be confronted by a copper with full body armour faces covered up to their eyes and riot shields. Everyone starts to hurl abuse at them and some push and shove ensues with me in the front line and my face either being pushed or hit buy their shields. Then see people including a friend getting grabbed by the police manage to drag some back into the crowed (Guess it might have been u Batties) but my friend gets set apon get a few good punches to the head and a headbut for good measure. I don’t actually see him get dragged off as the police start to force the issue and get the generator. Incidently the poor bloke spent 2 hours handcuffed in the van, followed by another 18 hours in the station, to be eventually charged with Violent Misconduct and Possesion, According to the police he was running at them whilst kicking and punching???
Later just as the suns coming up they set up this huge floodlight and you here the dogs barking and about 20? riot police with dogs come over to join the party. Basically from this moment on it all goes fucking crazy The police try to smash the sound system (Which they manage partially) whilst everyone tries to stop them, I’m a bit more sober now and as such I’m holding back The Pigs have not idea what they are doing and they eventually just turn it into a brawl, Loads of people getting kickings and a few getting arrested.
That’s my story
Mutant Dance – official Police version
Police arrest five at illegal rave in Bristol 11:37 – 21/07/2002 Police received complaints from members of the public that in excess of 300 people had gathered on parkland under the A370 Brunel Way, near to the Cumberland system in Bristol, at about 11.45pm on Saturday July 20 2002.
They had a substantial amount of stereo equipment and two generators with them and were intent on holding an illegal rave.
It was clear that a rave at the location would pose a significant risk of harm to those attending, and disruption to the local community. The decision was therefore made to use powers under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 to bring the event to a close.
District officers, supported by the dog section and support group officers moved onto the site at about 5.30am on Sunday July 21 2002, wearing protective equipment.
Despite encountering violent resistance, they succeeded in seizing the generators and sufficient amounts of equipment to bring the event to a conclusion.
A total of five arrests were made for offences including conspiracy to commit a public nuisance, violent disorder and public order offences.
Two officers received minor injuries. For safety reasons the A370 was partly closed while the operation was carried out, ending at about 6am when the revellers dispersed.
Police Attack on Mutant Dance party – another account
OK Here goes, our big bus arrived at about 1:30am at the party. We parked in the Mega Bowl because there was already a van parked on the bridge. We walked over to the party and basically started having fun, as you do at parties. Myself and a couple of mates wanted out ti the grassy bit to the left of the party, where a large gathering of police were staring down at us from the bridge. Peolpe had already started saying that this party was going to stopped. A few more vans arrived and a long line of police had lioned themselves on the bridge looking down.A few police had wandered down to the party and it seemed that they were just chatting to a few people, obviously about the fact that it was “illegal blah blah” This went on for a about 45 minutes to an hour.Then out of nowhere a long line of police descended down to the grass patch adjacest to the party and stood in a line, kitted out in full riot gear, what the fuck!!!!!One of the sound systems quickly packed up and I have to say fair play because I have never seen a system packed up so quick, well done. Verbal abuse insued against the police and poeple were going head to head with the police asking them why they were dressed up like a fucking sas swat team, was Bin Laden here, or maybe Sadam??, highly unlikely Ithought just a few hundred people enjoying themselves. People then started sitting down right infront of the police and I joined in this protest, surly they wouldnt just trample all over us…..It was then that the whole line of police simultaniously got there batons out and started tapping their shields, people started dancing, because it sounded quite tribal!! That was then out of the blue the advanced kicking and whacking people everywhere, I was kicked and hit on the arm and I kicked out in defence and they tried to drag mke behind the line I was luckily dragged back by some peeps, thanks for that , but not before sustaining nasty cuts up my arms. people were running back form this onslaught, people were throwin bottles and stones and I dont blame them. We were then told to get around another system, I think the tossers before another wave of police on the right flank burst in smashing equipment, people, anything they could get their hands on, this also include dogs, what the fuck! It had started to get light by now and the police had erected a bloody great spot light on the bridge, derrr it was light!! The police then retreated to the back end by the railway tracks and stood in a line there for ages, they had nicked some speakers and left them by a van, myself and a couple of peeps managed to nick em back and take them back to where they belonged. My friend was taking pictures of the coppers right up close and one of them smacked him in the face and split his ear right open, this caused more bottles and rocks to be trown, it was general mayhem. Then they suddenly all just piled in there vans and fucked off leaving people battered bruised and generally stunned at the brutal force the police had taken. What I find astounding is that there have been 4-5 parties there in the last 4 months and the only police presence has been a lonely cop car coming down in the MORNING to say be gone by midday etc!! I do have other accounts that I saw but I hope this is a start. I am pretty damn sure fuck all will happen but the police I’m sure know they were OTT but will they admit it, surly!!!!!!!!!!!
Bristol Evening Post : ILLEGAL RAVERS CRITICISE POLICE
Revellers at an illegal rave in Bristol have accused the police of heavy-handed tatics.
Officers dressed in riot gear confronted 500 people at an illegal party on parkland under the A370 Brunel Way near the Cumberland Basin.
Some of the dance music fans say they suffered injuries during the confrontation. But a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Const says it was an illegal event and officers were met with ‘Violent Resistance’ when they intervened. Gemma Worth aged 21 from Winterbourne said
‘I was hit in the face and my nose was bleeding. I also suffered bruises on my elbows, arms and wrists.
I accept I was at an illegal rave, but my friends and I didnt go there to cause trouble, we went there because we like techno music and we like to dance’ Greg Hart 25 from Glos road said
‘Some people at the party were being verbally abusive, but I didnt see any physical violence from them’
The rave started at 11.30pmon Saturday night and ended when the police broke it up at 5.30am the next day.
A police spokesman said the officer arrived 4 housr before they broke up the rave. 5 People were arrested for offences including conspiricy to commit a public nuisance, violent disorder and public offences. Avon and Somerset Const spokesman Paul Breakwell said
‘Police who attended were faced with a violent situation, police were injured and people were arrested. Despite encountering violent resistance, the officers succeeded in seizing the generators and sufficient amounts of equipment to bring the event to a conclusion. ‘We have received no formal complaints’
I’m in Siberia!!
hi tash i’m in siberia!! Just got the train from moscow to irkutsk. It took four days but had a comfy compartment with my girlfriend and time shot past. Staying with a siberian family and then off to lake baikal tommorow. There are some cracking vehicles here and i’m jealous, better than my old merc van.
dear tash showed a few folks your site. The computers sometimes were so sloooow that it would take me an hour just to read a few emails!! It makes me realise how spoilt i am with access to fast processors. Though they were fascinated in mongolia that there were yurts in britain although they were a little disabelieving as well which was quite funny. I’m now in bangkok, after spending a week in china which was excellent although incredibly in your face. It takes a bit of time, (although i am quite used to it anyway!!), to get used to people shouting and pointing and falling over laughing at you as white faces are pretty rare in some places especially out of the tourist season. off to ko samet tommorow. little island south of bangkok for some heat and chilling if you see what i mean. Its going to be nice to do the beach thing for a bit and actually stay in one place for longer than a week.
ta ta the noo
Bestest Festy Story???
I have some foggy memories but none that could really be translated into a story….Oh yeah there was that time when I spent ages stumbling around looking for something to eat. Oh, and the time when I walked into a tree. Oh yeah, and then the time I got lost in my tent, it was so funny……
Cinnamon Lane party. Alternative / Fringe Glastonbury
27th June 2002 A small, independent party manifested off of Cinnamon Lane on Tuesday. A small sound system from hackney and a few other vehicles had arrived earlier in the day and had been told by Police that there should be no problem in having a little party there until the next day. The Police also spoke to the farmer, who agreed to move his cows.
Around 30 vehicles had arrived by nightfall, with a good fire kindling up, and a huge orange moon slowly rising into the sky. A Magikal night.
A lovely event had happened, a wonderful little buzz was in the air, and people were content to not push it, why would we need to, this was all we ever wanted!
The next day, Police came on and said that we would have to move by 4.00pm, they were quite friendly, and there was no tension. By 3.00 all the sound gear was packed away and people were in general, enjoying the last hour or so of a successful little Glastonbury FREE FESTIVAL. Although by this time the Police were starting to feel a little intimidating, as around 40 were gathering and very publicly were putting on semi riot suits. People had starting gathering with the police with the general questioning of “isn’t this a bit over the top?’ However everything was calm and people were starting to leave.
Several groups of people were litter picking, the inevitable festy dog pack still running around and the remainder of people packing up, and moving out. The truck however, that we were in wouldn’t start, and also had two peoples’ sound systems, and a lot of instruments. A fellow came over and very kindly offered a jump-start, his vehicle also turned out to contain a sound system, and instruments. Although they hadn’t been out of his van, and none of us had actually ever met. We were by now the last vehicles to leave, and the time was 4.03, WAHAY we thought, no problems, and a bit of apparent cooperation; but we should have known better!
It would have been too good to be true. A Police van was “parked” at the mouth of the road which all the others had went up, and a Policeman directed us along to the right where we drove for a short bit, until we reached another cop van and had to stop. Police came up to the drivers side, and told the lady driving to get out, informing her she was under arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to create a public nuisance (right wing nutters can start dribbling now) both trucks, and all the equipment were seized, and both drivers and myself, had also been “quick cuffed” and physically carried into the van, were all on the same charge.
Off to the cells at the Bath and West Showground we went, where we were processed and locked up for nine hours, and released at around half one, All of us on Police bail for five weeks. The vehicles were returned but all sound equipment still seized, even though most of it had never been outside the vehicles.
Is this deliberate provocation? This approach is inflammatory and never works.
Still, a very special little festival, wonderful memories. And it just goes to show what can be done!
Despite the best efforts of the cops backed up with roadblocks and the trusty old Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994), free parties just won’t go away. Usually low key attracting a few hundred with no one taking much notice, over the past few months some have become festival size. The problem of trying to put on anything (ask the Welsh Green Gathering lot, SchNEWS 354) is you’ve got to jump through a million licensing hoops, or like Glastonbury forced to work with corporate cock suckers like Mean Fiddler.
Take Stonehenge where for the past few summers people have tried to sort out a festival afterwards – last year the MoD pulled out at the last minute, this year there were rumours that farmers who were up for renting their land were warned off by the cops. So instead of free festivals being at least a bit planned, and stuff like provision of toilets and wood for fires, it becomes a game of cat and mouse with the cops, with the result that parties end up on sites that aren’t always suited. One local complained to SchNEWS about the festival in Steart over the Jubilee weekend “Over ten thousand of you arrived at a nature reserve and birdlife sanctuary – at the height of the wading birds nesting season. For three days, you terrorised the local inhabitants, and destroyed the nests and the fledglings.” Guilfin responded “The site wasn’t the one chosen, confusion abounded, a few rigs took to the previously used beach, then everybody else followed. It’s not on to use somewhere like that, but if you’re not aware of its sensitivity, and the police are chasing down convoys, then it’s not surprising someone made a snap decision to take the site. What we need is places to party safely and responsibly. Dancing shouldn’t be an outlaw activity.”
So beyond the roadblocks the parties continue. Here’s one report from someone outside The Great Wall of Glasto plc: “Several thousand people in a field, dancing to underground music from sound systems to live bands, taking whatever drugs they want as the party continues 24 hours a day, and making new connections outside capitalism’s reign of terror. Sound idyllic? This was the scene at Smeatharpe, a former airbase some twenty miles from Glastonbury last weekend. Worlds apart? Well actually maybe not. Smeatharpe should be the ideal spot for a free party. It’s in the middle of nowhere. The neighbouring farmer had no problem with the party as long as people showed him the basic respect of not using the fences for firewood (it’s lambing season at the moment) or trashing his crops. Not so tricky really, but that, unfortunately, is what happened, as well as kids burning a car left behind 10 years ago and sending a smoke signal of filth over the surrounding countryside.
Free parties and festivals are great cos they rely on the people there to sort out everything themselves – there’s no gap between organisers who sort out infrastructure and the punters. Everyone’s on the same vibe – in theory. No one will look after your land for you, toilets and bins won’t be provided. So it’s best to take a shovel (or even a trowel if you’re hitching), clear your rubbish and take it with you, and if there are people who don’t know the score, let them benefit from your experience. Free events are a great opportunity for our culture to make the connections between free space and the environment we live in. Let’s create the world we want to live in – all of us, together.”
Mayday 2001 London – Tactics At The Not Ok Corral
Even before a single activist turned up to the Mayday demonstrations in central London, the event could have been hailed a massive success for the anti-capitalist movement.
For once, the incessant capitalism which exudes from every Oxford Street orifice, was forced to shut up. Road closed. The epicentre of the capital’s consumer culture boarded up. Down Berwick Street a line of glazier vans waited like undertakers in a western full of gunfighters, measuring up the windows, lurking in the shadows waiting for the shots to be fired.
When we arrived on Oxford Street the police had already corralled over a thousand activists on the crossroads of Regent Street and Oxford Street with a now familiar tactic.
Having been corralled and held for over four hours on Euston concourse by a ring of riot police at the N30 demo in 1999, I was constantly looking not to be caught out again.
Standing in a packed crowd surrounded by truncheon-jabbing riot police ain’t funny………At Euston in ’99, 250 of us had been kept standing for over fours hours on end with snatch squads periodically dashing into the middle of the penned in people. When we were finally released everyone had their photograph taken and their pockets searched.
They repeated the tactic at last year’s Mayday events in central London. Throughout this year’s Mayday event it was evident their strategy was to manoeuvre as many of these activist corrals as possible. Earlier that morning they’d succeeded in surrounding 300 critical mass cyclists and a samba band by Euston station. They kept them standing for three hours in the rain, many only wearing light cycling clothes. Once again they were processed one by one under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act. This Act gives the police the right to ask an activist to remove any headscarves etc and the right to search the individual for ‘weapons’. It does not give them the right to ask your name or date of birth although the police still ask for them hoping the activist won’t know their rights. As each activist was searched, a police cameraman photographed their face. I leaned in to listen to a Superintendent at Euston Station answer off-mic questions from a mainstream journalist: “Well you can see the point of the our action,” he puffed pointing at the cold and wet cyclists as they were released one at a time. “Three hours ago they were 350 cyclists together, now look at them.” The journalists laughed.
If there was any doubt about the threat to squash peaceful protest with draconian policing this was it. They don’t come more non-violent than Critical Mass cyclists.
To the police this was one of the many victories they were evidently hoping to stage-manage today. Corralling the first thousand or so activists to arrive on Oxford Street was another of their battle successes but it was the last one they were due to have that day.
From there on in their composure broke and their attempts at street manoeuvres constantly fell apart as they haplessly chased thousands of other demonstrators through the streets immediately to the north and south of Oxford Street. These large collections of activists never stopped in any one place for long and this proved to be one of the secrets of the activists’ success for the rest of the day. Keep moving and never give the police the opportunity to swing their corral-pincer movements into place. Squares and crossroads are no good anymore. We are too easily hemmed in by this now familiar police manoeuvre. Enough protestors have finally learned the hard way how not to be caught in a corral.
Instead a snaking movement of around 2000 activists, with around 25 foam padded ‘Wombles’ at or near the front, weaved their way through the network of streets around Oxford Street. Up Great Portland Street, into Cavendish Square, down New bond Street, along Maddox Street….always moving……….suddenly turning left then right….a couple of thousand activists on the move and unstoppable. The police desperately chased after the crowd unable to organise anything to check its momentum. At one point this surging column of activists came back onto Oxford Street and marched up to the police lines holding the other activists in a corral.
The ring was heavily fortified with vans, riot cops and mounted police and not easily breakable So the crowd stood, chanted and whistled……a formidable cacophony bouncing off buildings and boarded up shops on either side.
Squads of riot police went steaming in a few times truncheon-flailing but the crowd stood firm, demanding the release of the penned in protestors. Then from behind us came other lines of riot police manoeuvering themselves to block off escape roots. The over two thousand strong crowd were in danger of being corralled themselves………if the police had succeeded with this particular manoeuvre they would have won the day’s battle outright and have four thousand protestors imprisoned.
However, just as the police were closing their grip, the crowd seemed to sense the manoeuvre en masse and swept down an unblocked side alley. When the police pincer fully closed there was no one left in it. The protestors then swept through Soho, Cambridge Circus and Shaftesbury Avenue with riot police hopelessly trying to predict where the giant amoeba might go next and, despite the two police helicopters hanging constantly overhead, failing spectacularly. It was the subject of some mirth to see riot cops put loads of huff puff energy into blocking roads which the protestors had not intention of going down and then watch their blockade collapse awkwardly as irate motorists began berating them for standing in the road..
Despite the huge number of officers and their ‘corral and hold’ strategy, the Met singularly failed in its attempts to suffocate the demonstration. The vast amounts of money and time spent on the pre-event demonisation was also shown to be spectacularly alarmist and grossly inaccurate. Their supposed pre-event intelligence that groups of activists would be carrying samurai swords was amongst the ludicrous scare-mongering in the run up……….a number of women on the early morning critical mass cycle ride brought plastic samurai swords to wave at cops.
In a preposterous effort to spread fear amongst the residents of London, the Met police also delivered dire warnings to residents’ houses. I spoke to one female Islington resident who was advised by police to travel to work in casual clothes on Mayday because, as the Met police informed her, if she wore work clothes she would risk being attacked by activists.
The Met will probably claim their heavy policing of the event meant there was no violence or property damage but as two thousand people swept through the West End, successfully evading all attempts to block their progress, there was plenty of opportunity. However, property damage was remarkably minimal. And, except for a small skirmish up Tottenham Court Road right at the end of the evening which lasted ten minutes and inevitably made the TV news, shop windows remained in tact, street fixtures remained unmolested and the grossly predicted ultra-violence conspicuously failed to materialise in any way. It was truly inspiring to see so many different folk at the protest, turning up despite the best efforts of the police to dissuade people from attending. Young and old, able bodied and wheelchair-bound.
And, with respect to the mind-numbing afternoon spent by the activists caught in the corral (who were kept standing in the cold rain for seven hours) the demonstration was without a doubt a monumental success for the anti-capitalist movement: – Seamus
And the lessons we learned…….
…..Keep moving ……..Stay unpredictable …………Watch yer backs for pincer movements
Castlemorton 10th Anniversary Free Festival/Rave
May 31-June 5 2002: Steart Beach, Somerset : Over ten thousand people gathered for the biggest impromptu free festival-rave since the Criminal Justice Act kiboshed the scene. Matt Smith was there to witness the mass gathering of the sound system tribes and sent this despatch back to SQUALL
A massive free festival sprang up over the Jubilee weekend in the shadow of a West Country nuclear power station, the like of which has not been seen for a decade. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of the Queens coronation; it was also the 10th anniversary of the Castlemorton Free Festival.
Back then some 10,000 people united on a common near Malvern, in a massive celebration of dance culture’s power for over a week; fuelled by the music of traveller sound systems like Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Warp and DIY. The event’s huge popularity gave the then Conservative Government just the excuse it was looking for to conjure into existence one of the biggest nails in the coffin of freedom this country has ever seen, the infamous and reviled 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
This time around it was to be the turn of Steart Beach, near Bridgwater, Somerset to play host to over twenty sound systems; and anywhere between ten and fifteen thousand people, if you believe the Western Daily Press. Originally billed as the “Feeling of Life” festival, the hype had been growing for months. Rumours flew of a group of land owners wanting to provide a selection of sites, some of the original Spiral DJ line up putting together a rig especially for the occasion, a purpose built Europe wide word of mouth network for publicity, a special team of Chinese interpreters to decode all the whispers. In the end all it took was for a great idea to catch the public imagination, with nobody really certain of the venue until the last minute.
In a distinct contrast to the BBC’s pre-Jubilee proclamation that the Queen wished the nation to go out and celebrate her coronation; the police operation to stop the event stretched across the country. Major surveillance was launched along the M5, the M50 towards Malvern, and the A46 in Gloucestershire. By lunchtime an estimated 1000 people at Michael Woods services on the M5 were being harassed by hovering helicopters and riot police. Smaller satellite parties that sprung up later that afternoon near Abergavenny in Wales, and on Minchinhampton Common near Stroud were busted early on, with the loss of three sound systems in a spate of state sponsored theft.
There have been reports of parties being busted in the North as far up as Halifax. Only on Dartmoor, near Okehampton, Devon, it seems, were people allowed to go about their business unmolested. One of the most worrying developments over the weekend was the use of special rave riot police; identifiable by the small fluorescent green acid smiley face stickers positioned on either side of their ID numbers on the back of their helmets. A Police spokeswoman interviewed by the Big Issue on this very subject has mysteriously tried to deny that this was the case, putting it down to “coincidence”. But just check out the pictures.
By late Saturday afternoon Steart had become the popular solution to a choice of venue. With at least ten rigs up and running on the beach, Police raced to close access to the area, blocking each of the four access roads, causing a huge pile up of traffic in the remote country roads. For a while, even the Bridgwater turn-off at junction 23 on the M5, some 15 miles away, was blocked to the public. At one roadblock the congestion became so great, that a senior officer had to be dropped off by helicopter in order to resolve the situation, and finally grant access to the festival as dusk fell. The direct consequence of this late decision was to cause chaos on site, as festival-goers tried to negotiate the severely rutted and rough access roads. Many vehicles sustained damage, turned over or became stuck in the soft ground due to the lack of visibility.
By Sunday morning the site had reached gridlock along the four-mile beach and common, but the atmosphere was one of jubilation. There was a live punk stage, a couple of dub systems, and just about every genre of dance music from disco to gabba. There were so many rigs that some people didn’t even bother to set up. There were people present from Brighton, London, Scotland, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leeds; from just about every region of the United Kingdom. There were French people, Italians, Dutch; an amazingly cosmopolitan assortment for an isolated Somerset backwater.
Who knows how many people might have attended, were it not for the sustained campaign of intimidation. Surely this is one of the questions that must be asked, for when so many people take the decision to pursue an objective, in direct opposition to the letter of the law, it must cast doubt on the validity of the legislation put in place to oppose their point of view.
In a mighty contrast to the no pay, no play festivals currently being foisted on the great British public by unscrupulous and mercenary councils and promoters, the beer was only a quid a can, £1.50 if you were unlucky. Food was about £2.00 a plate. There was no entrance fee, the event being open to all. The performers did a fantastic job and did not demand the equivalent of an annual national minimum wage for a one off couple of hours work. The usual private armies of petty crims masquerading as security were just not necessary, and there were children playing everywhere in unsupervised safety as proof. Everybody who had the foresight, ingenuity and necessary work ethic to make themselves some money actually got paid, on time, and got to keep it. This is in distinct contrast to recent pay festivals such as the Bristol Essential Festival where angry and ripped off punters are currently demanding an investigation of the event by Trading Standards.
As ever the festival benefited from the organic nature of its formation, no playlists, no headline acts, no performer/punter segregation; just people coming together to create an atmosphere and entertainment with their very presence. Trouble is, that kind of thing is difficult to turn into a product and sell.
Perhaps the only downside to the event was the spaced-out idiot who took to torching any damaged car found to be vulnerable. As usual it has been reported that there were used needles everywhere, but that will always be the case as long as mainstream media need to sell copy to a readership used to having their prejudices pandered to. There were a number of people; especially the group of crusties using an empty pushchair as a mobile shop; however, who resorted to selling rocks. Openly offering pebbles collected from the beach for sale. Conscious of the high profile nature of this event, quite a few vehicle number plates were covered by their occupants and this too provoked some problems; with quite a few undercover police caught trying to uncover and record the hidden data.
This was not the first time that Steart Beach has provided a venue to events of this sort. It has been used as a harmless, out of the way party venue for years, and in 1995 provided a last ditch venue to thousands of people who turned up at Smeatharpe, a nearby abandoned airfield, for a free festival called ‘The Mother’; held to celebrate the first year of opposition to the CJA. On that occasion roads for a twelve-mile radius were blocked around the airfield, and Steart again provided refuge. On that occasion festival-goers were road-blocked onto site for nearly a week along with rigs like Immersion, Sunnyside and DIY, under a four mile exclusion zone manned by Police, and Army personnel.
Since rave exploded into the public domain some 15 years ago, dance music has been used to implement legislation designed to outlaw any real freedom of association and many other civil liberties. Surveillance of society on every level has expanded, with a massive network of CCTV implemented, face recognition software developed, compulsory DNA profiling and record keeping on arrest, digital communication and financial transaction monitoring, and effective peaceful protest virtually reduced to Police discretion. The latest development in this trend are proposals to force telecom and internet companies to reveal all content and location details of phone and internet communication to a whole gamut of Govt agencies without the need for a court order. This means that for a start, that every mobile phone will become a personal tracking device.
It is now pretty much impossible to travel, communicate or trade without somebody having access to the information, and society is constantly required to take it for granted that our state is a benevolent one. Choiceless conformity and enforced dependency are fast becoming prerequisites for full access to society, while the murky threat of terrorism is being used to all but shut down any real right to privacy or anonymity. Politicians are even grooming our children for the future acceptance of compulsory ID cards via schemes like “age” cards.
Free party rave and festival culture challenges this. Events like this break with the need for marketing and advertising, they do not need to be sold to their punters to be successful, and this makes them truly democratic. They have no employer/employee structure, and every single person setting out to attend this event made a political decision and voted with their feet. In the end authority will seek to apportion blame, to identify the “criminals”, so the fines can be meted out, and justice served; but the beauty of events like this are that they are really a product of raw demand, and it is the lawmakers themselves who are guilty of foisting their prejudices and hidden agendas on a population sold the false belief that a vote actually makes a difference.
Mainstream festivals are forced to buy into a state licensed protection operation to acquire licences. Councils have to be paid off, police bills paid, private security companies taken on. When most punters are already forking out a hefty wedge from their annual income in the form of Council tax and the annual Police bill payments; it seems a bit rich for organisers to pass on these costs in the form of inflated entrance fees, effectively forcing punters into paying their bills twice for the privilege of indulging in their entertainment of choice, and making the promoters a massive profit in the process.
Just go see Glastonbury. For years it has benefited from the thousands of people who get in for nothing. The event pays for itself, all the traders benefit from increase trade, it raises massive amounts for charity, and brings a vast amount of money into the South West’s coffers. Yet this year it is being punished for its previously altruistic entrance policy. The existence of one of the UK’s foremost cultural events is now being threatened by the same councillors that have been paid off by the event for years. “Overcrowding” apparently threatens safety, yet its safety record over the years speaks for itself, with the “overcrowding” unchecked. It is not possible to guarantee public safety on the streets of most major cities on an average Saturday night, let alone at in a temporary tent city of entertainment and diversity built to house a transient population of thousands. The event has become a victim of the power of its own popularity and success. But then again perhaps it is the prospect of 250,000 fully televised people choosing to openly consume illegal drugs, drink to excess and generally have it large for a weekend once a year; is at odds with the national image desired by our Govt’s PR machine. Who can tell?
The original Castlemorton offered a lifeline to a massive community that openly rejected mainstream hypocritical authority, a glimmer of a means of funding their lifestyle choices. For years the authorities had been trying to shut down the traveller/festival lifestyle and since the Battle of the Beanfield massacre had fairly well managed to instil fear into anyone making those kind of decisions. Then along came rave and offered that culture a whole new means of empowerment and thus survival.
At the same time a whole new industry was born, and after the CJA was passed, assimilation became the keyword. Knowing that a people’s need to party could not be compromised, authority took a leaf out the Roman Empire’s book, and brought rave in-house, clubbing came of age, and everybody was happy because the wedge was once again heading in the right direction. Into Govt coffers and tricky dicky business peoples bank accounts, instead of the pockets of ordinary, decent, hard working folk. Then back came the free festival to illuminate the lie.
Finally, there is one post festival story that has come to light concerning the home of a long time and well-known member of the Bristol free party crew Mutant Dance. Having spent all weekend at the festival this individual returned home to find his flat ransacked and all his computer equipment vanished; including a database of some 12,000 names and phone numbers compiled over the years from their text messaging service.
Let the big shout go out to everybody who risked life, limb, property and freedom to celebrate that which is right and bright.
Stonehenge Solstice 2002
An estimated 22,500 celebrated a night vigil at Stonehenge from 8PM on 20th June 2002 until 7AM on the 21st June, and had a jolly time, even though dense high cloud ensured the sun was not seen to rise!
I thought that the crowd were more relaxed than before, and I thought this as soon as I arrived and saw that people were not rushing in at the opening but trickling in at a leisurely pace through the night and building to the maximum at around dawn.
Nevertheless I saw that there still was a level of the emotional contestation that we are aware from the anarchists and free festivalcampaigners who express themselves on the newsgroup on the internet. At the stones this expresses itself in a prolonged occupation of the Stones by the sort of young people who identify with “the people” although of course this rhetoric disguises the fact that they are just one particular group of people, who by occupying the stones in this way, are denying them to some other groups of people.
English Heritage stewards did very little to prevent people climbing on the Stones but this is for them the main area of anxiety. Not only are the Stones subject to damage, so is the lichen, which takes a long time to grow. There is a serious safety issue, if just one of those carousing on a stone was to fall off, injuring a person or perhaps a small child underneath. Not the very worst but the most immediate problem is that English Heritage come under flak from critics who say they do not understand how English Heritage can allow people to behave, basically with such disrespect, or perhaps thoughtlessness. Resolving this is again, no easy matter. But if the contestation can be reduced, by such measures as providing a legal music gathering for the contestors to go to, I think the climbing will also be controlled.
The attempts to create activities outside the stones featured two solid fuel braziers South of the Stones, which at least provided some refuge for those who were cold, and at least one singalong session. The Hare Krishna people set up on a high part of the bank near the Hele stone and kept a crowd going with their music. The Kings Drummers were authorised to move their dancers drummers and torches in a cordon around the site, and close to dawn they advanced to the Hele stone. Shamus Joy held a poetry corner.
It is a view expressed by others as well as myself, that the level of confrontation is slowly diminishing and the level of celebration is slowly increasing. But there will be a great deal of discussion about the future management of the access, to cope with increasing numbers, and deal with various irritations and errors which arose from the necessity to carry out searches upon entry, for prohibited items, such as camping equipment, glass, firemaking tools, knives and so on.
There were 11 arrests, representing 0.05% of the crowd.
350th Anniversary of the Diggers
Hello all ………….. An account of the march to Georges Hill, Surrey, on Saturday the 3rd of April 1999, to commenerate Greard Winnstanley and the 350th Anniversary of the Diggers (1st April 1649).
“The work we are going about is this, to dig up George hill and the waste ground there abouts, and to sow Corn, and to our breads together by the sweat of our brows.”
Gerard Winnstanley & 14 others.
The true Levellers standard advance, April 1649
The Diggers march set out from Walton-on-Thames at just after 12:30pm on saturday. The point of the march was to comemerate the 350th Anniversary of the Diggers who first set out to “claimthe land as a common treaury for all”. And to erect a stone, in honour of Gerard Winstanley, at George Hill in Surrey (just outside London) which is currently claimed by ‘St Georges golf course’.
At 12:30. the Town Crier of Brighton and Hove rang her bell, and in clear tones quoted Gerard Winstanely from his “New Years gift for Parliament and armie” in 1650.
“Yet my mind was not at rest, because nothing was acted, and thoughts did run in me, that words and writings were all nothing and, must die, for action is the life of all, and if thou does not act, thou dost nothing.” And with this the event was in motion. People met and talked, and told each other new thing, and the stone which we were to erect was there, laid out on a very adequate and solid cart. “The cart was built especially for the purpose”, the craftman told me, as I joined the cart pullers in taking the stone to the gathering point just round the corner. Though the stone is quite narrow, the cart was made out of what looked like a wheel base from a Morris Minor, and so we had to take it on the road as it wouldn’t fit on the pavement. We stood in the street and waited for the mass of the march to assemble in the road. The banners were raised and the motorists calmed down. We set off on to the main rod leading to Georges’ hill.
Spirits were high, and the march set off on the four mile walk with a sense of purpose. I counted about 280 marchers present (281 first count, 282 second count). Many people dressed in ‘traditional costume’ and quite a few carried shovels. There was a wide variety of people walking. Miles Halliwell was also present. He played the part of Gerard Winstanley in the movie about the Diggers movent in the middle of the 1600’s. There were a two small arguments with motorists on the course of the march, both were resolved amicably once the motorists were made aware of the purpose of the walk, but other than this the march went without insident, and ecery body was very freindly and positive. The police directed the traffic.
We arrived at our destination at 15:45. The gates were unlocked and there was minimalsecurity presence. Tthere were several police vans on the far side of the green, they stayed where they were while we strode confidently onto the land we were claiming and the police and security left those assembled alone and we assembled next to wooded glade ‘on some one elses bit !
It was difficult work pulling that cart, and it had been a privelidge to participate in taking that monument to its’ proposed site. It gave me enough time to soak up what I have been learning, research, and living recently, and to reflect on the significance of our actions today. We struggled together to pull the monument to the site, but how the original Diggers must have struggled when they gave us a reason to celebrate and commerate their noble and visionary cause.
We assisted in the final act of up-ending the cart in order to display the monument to those gathered. And once the stonecarver had balanced the monument, the Town Crier called our attention with more words also said to be from Gerald Winstanley from ‘a bill of account of the most remarkeable sufferings that the Diggers have met with from the 1st April 1649…. ” ……And here I end, having put my arm as far as my strength will go to advance Righteousness; I have writ, I have acted, I have peace; now I must wait to see the spirit do his work in the hearts of others, and whether England shall be the first land, or some others, wherein truth shall sit down in triumph”.
And then other people were invited to sing and ‘rattle on’. The first to speak was a man who was concerned with the issues surrounding todays’ action. We were all disappointed to here that the stone would not be dug in today because it probably would not be very long before the St. Georges’ golf course would have it removed or trashed or both. The golf course ‘allowing’ the stone to stand would probably present the possibilty that people may visit the monument, and this might present a problem to the ‘owners’ of ‘non-members’ demanding access to the land on a more regular basis, and I don’t think that they would stand for that(!) Our spirits were lifted though on the news that the stone will be going to West Horsley, which is apparently the town of Parson Platts’, who gave the Diggers a bloody hard time during the land reclaimation, he is said to have had a lot to do with the hatred of the church toward the Diggers. And would probably turn in his grave if he knew that the memorial stone commemerating his rival was to stand in his ‘home town’. But he need not turn for too long because the stone will only be there temporarily before it moves to (hopefully) a permanent position at George hill site.
The speaker also told us how letters will be sent to the St. Georges hill residents association to try to recieve their approval on the placing of the stone, because it is not the golf course who object to the memorial but the residents association. And not suprisingly so, because they probably aware of how they can be seen as the ‘modern day’ equivelant of the wealthy land owners in the time of Winstanley….Does much truly change over time? Other speakers also had their word, and the crowd listened intently, even through the battery powered p.a.system which had been brought along by a very ‘up for it’ individual (it was having problems with the damp enviroment, but warmed up after a while – nice one J). There was a very audible resitle by Miles Halliwell of the words and quotes of Gerard Winstanley. There were mentions on the ruling of Lord Irvine (House of Lords, 4th march ’99) relating to “using the highway for the action of passing and re-passing and anything incidental to that action”. There were songs, and people met and talked.
Soon the time came for this action to finish. Some people then left Georges hill while over half of the group went further into the estate, and into the residential area in order to re-claim some of the land ‘owned’ by the wealthy locals, where they hoped to set up a Diggers camp. I did not follow straight away but stopped to carry on my conversations with some of the new freinds that I had met. And then I also set off into the Birch woods and the golf greens to find the Diggers camp. I was ‘gob-smacked’ by the place. What a beautiful area, and an especially beautiful area to live in if ‘one’ can afford to. I hadn’t realised how large the area was. I ran across the greens and through the woods, sweating but not tired, and passed by golfers who looked at me as though I was an alien or something out of the ordinary (which I suppose I was, especially if ‘one’ was to look at my shoes, which revealed my life on the bread line).
As I ran passed the golfers I politely said my “Good afternoons” and my “How do you do?”(es), but was ignored. If they don’t show me that they noticed me, then obviously I don’t exist in their eyes. Not one of them returned my polite enquiries – I generally find that snobs are rude and ignorant, so I didn’t take offence at their problem. “Excuse me, sir”, I said to a golfer roughly of my own age group, “I don’t suppose you’ve seen a bunch of ‘hippies’ come passed here in the last ten minutes?”.
“Yes”, he replied, pointing towards the car park of the ‘tea house’, “I saw a large group of people going up that way”. I said my thanks to him, and before running on I paused to say something to a woman who I can only presume was his mother, “It must be so wonderful for you to be able to come and play golf here, it’s very beautiful. There’s nowhere like this to play golf where I come from. You are very lucky !”. I said this to her in the vague hope that she might notice the difference in perception between us, but she didn’t look at me, and said quite simply, “Yes we are, aren’t we!”
Maybe I wouldn’t see her as a stuck up cow if she had only looked at me and seen me smiling at her in a freindly manner. My attention was drawn to a few people who were calling me from the club house and gesturing off into the trees passed the car park. As I approached them I could here that they were shouting, “Through the car park, turn right, up the hill, and turn left!”. I went in the direction that they had told me to go, wondering whether they were actually sending me to the main exit. These thoughts very quickly left my mind, and my running slowed to a walk as I used the private road to go up the hill that I had been directed up. I found myself walking through a ‘residential utopia’, the likes of which I had never seen before. The area looked very familiar but only in the sense that it reminded me of the type of place which I would like to think that we should all be able to live in, a clean space with some nature around, with houses big enough to allow communal living, each house could be an alternative centre in its’ own right in this type of setting.
It is a quite place. No cars. Trees full of bird song. It’s a shame that only the select few get to see this place, let alone live in it ! So I pressed on, now more determined to find the camp. I came to the top of the hill where the road forks left and right, I was unsure which way to go for fear of being ‘captured’ and booted back into ‘the outside world’. Within seconds of arriving at the junction I saw a car coming my way, and I could make out that this was a St. Georges security car. For a moment I thought that ‘they’ would escort me to the exit, but on flagging down the driver and enquiring as to the whereabouts of the camp, to my suprise the security guard said, “Hop in, I’ll give you a lift there”, so in I hopped, and suddenly there I was…..at the gateway to the Diggers camp.
Drawing on my youth experience I climbed under the gate, being sure not to cause any ‘criminal damage’ on my way in, and found to my joy that tents and yurts (don’t know how to spell that one) and a large kitchen were already being erected. A fire was just being started, and the mood was very freindly and relaxed. I had expected that by now, what with my late arrival, I would arrive to see people being turfed off by the security and plod. Not so. In fact quite the opposite. Just a couple of police and security and well over a hundred people ‘digging in’. We formed a human chain to move supplies and possesions in quickly, whilst people began preparing food in the by now built kitchen area, and others sang songs around the by now roaring fire.
At 17:40 two inspectors turned up to check it out. They pointed out that damage may be occuring to the gate, and so some people found some materials to create a makeshift stile. That (I think) was about all they had to grumble about, and they were gone within ten minutes. Later on a ‘local’ man turned up at the gate and exchanged pleasentries with his new neighbours. The whole scene was a very relaxed atmosphere, and as it came closer to darkness I felt that I really didn’t want to leave the site, and would have liked to stay for at least a couple of days. Unfortunately though this was not possible, and it was sonn time for me and my friend to leave. We left the camp at 19:55, as the fire began to roar and the merriments continued. We managed to get a lift back to the start point of the march from where we made our way back home…….What an enlightening day. The event made such a lot of sense to me, and through participating in the action I am left feeling closer to and with a clearer understanding of the reasons for it, and not only a clearer picture of the historical events, but also a greater understanding of the relevance of our action.
It seems true to me that social issues and struggles that were alive in the 1600’s are still relevant in society today, without knowing what has gone before in history I only have an understanding, but after participating in the action that we did today and learning more about the history of the land and its’ people I feel like that understanding is growing and the new kknowledge that I have has (again raised my confidence and awareness. After todays action I feel inspired, and am thirsty for more knowledge, understanding, and action. And I thank everyone who took part for the passive nature of the demonstration, nice one everyone !! – Giz.
“They hang the man and flog the woman
that steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
that steal the common from the goose.”
Steart Beach (Castlemorton +10)
Well, there were 20 rigs plus, some flippin massive, one from Holland even, Saturday afternoon/evening saw a 4 hour stand off with Police with at least a mile of road completely blocked as ravers were denied access to party site by riot police until just before dark. A senior officer was even dropped off by helicopter in a next door field to resolve the situation because of the amount of traffic trying to gain entry.
Special rave riot police were present identifiable by small fluorescent smiley faces on their helmets. The operation to stop this event stretched across the west country with a big surveillance operation mounted to keep an eye on the M5, M50, and along the A46. There were reports of one rig actually confiscated on Saturday afternoon, and one forcibly escorted out of the area. Several smaller parties and meeting points were also busted. Similar events also happened near Abergavenny in Wales and at Minchinhampton Common near Stroud.
By Sunday morning the site at Steart was gridlocked along the length of the 4 mile beach and common. At its height on Sunday night attendance must have reached 10,000. There were people present from around the country from Brighton to Scotland, from Cornwall to London, and a fair number of French and Italians too. Anyone who has any more detail or info, please share as it would be good to build up a record of experiences and try to get an idea of the scale of what went on.
Now some fun-facts on travelling people in Germany.
[please excuse my spelling]
First of all there is no CJA in Germany but of course it is forbidden to live and travel in wagons. There are some exeptions like being an ethnic sinti/roma, a travelling artist(circus) or merchant, and the strange one, when you have at least 3 Sheeps with you.
The main problem is to get a traffic licence for the wagons and of course to get places to live on. So most of the places are near squatting areas. It is not easy to compare the british and german travellers, because in germany there are no or few tribal structures and the people are less nomadic. That means that there are some places where people live until they get evicted and then look for another place or flat.
In common there is no big movement here, which have the advantage thats there is no coordinated political/police action against them but unfortunately also no important impact on society.
There are a lot of small places on the countryside where 1-3 wagons are sited on private ground, there are also 4 -6 bigger places in citys where up to 40 wagons are. I don’t know the actual situation but some of the bigger places had severe problems with tough police actions in connection with the plan to wipe out all squatted areas in the last years (there was realy a lot of them in east germany).
“I love this bus
That I call my home
I dig this coach
That allows me to roam
My little space
That can take me any place
No matter where I be
And when I know she’s ready to go
And a time to travel’s dawning
Reaching, to start her heart
She turns, she breathes, she fires, she vibrates gently
We move into the morning
Wondering whence we do depart
Knowing that there’s nothing wrong with where I am
Some folk simply do not understand.”
Trip around Wiltshire
I got a lift down to swindon from a work colleague and was heading to a free festival near swindon… can’t remember what the venue was. Either way, me and my girlfriend of the time proceeded to be picked up by a strange couple in a 2cv which the rear suspension had gone on and they were offering us coke or something like that off the dashboard.
Anyway, we got to the fetival site only to find it blocked off, but a messenger on a bike told us that the new festival was going to be right near the town. So we piled down there. I pitched my tent and proceeded to have some kid of about 10 threaten to burn my tent down, which was a nicewelcome. I don’t think that there was much in the way of entertainment that night so i made ammends by waking up in the morning, walking into town and buying myself the healthy breakfast of a steak and kidney pie and a bottle of gin. Once back at the festival site i proceeded to consume this and several hash cakes.
Subsequently, shortly afterwards my head started seriously spinning and the inevitable happened, the brown mess that i had ejected from my mouth that was my steak and kidney pie, proceeded to be consumed by a hungry festy dog. He probably ended up having a better time than i did.
I then collapsed, only to be woken up by my girlfriend saying… “you’re going to have to get it together, there are riot police here and they’ve been ordered to move us on”. Now having double vision dosn’t help at this point, what were probably only about 10 police seemed like 50. But you know that thing that happens with hash, you know when your mum suddenly turns up unexpectedly and your completely boxed?…. you suddenly get it together like you hadn’t taken anything.
So with what i felt was a superhuman effort i managed to pack my tent and walk straight past the police to sit by a roundabout. Unbelievably, not 5 minutes later my friends who said they might turn up, turned up!!!
We then drove around to the white horse at Uffington to have a festival there instead and a good time was had by all…. well not exactly. We then got hassled by some brew crew boys who were slagging us off and threatening to smash the car up. So off we went to wales to the forest of dean instead…. far more peaceful. Especially for my mate Mike who fell asleep on the bog at the service station for about 2 hours.
Stonehenge Festival – by ‘Big’ Steve
When Wally Hope started a ramble to Stonehenge with the rainbow banner of 60’s counter culture, I was 17, the social secretary of a Sussex college blasting out Lynard Skynard’s Freebird across the common room floor. I got home one day to be startled by TV news of ‘hippies’ gathering for the summer solstice at Stonehenge. I was excited but oblivious to the profound effect it was to have on my life.
I’d been to Windsor and other free festivals, and even helped carry a few scaffold poles and planks onto the stage and sat stoned through the Pink Fairies and Hawkwind sets. I remember giggling uder layers of clear plastic as the Hare Krishna band played through the night.
It was an idealistic and wonderful feeling of Utopia – natural, raw, rough and ready yeah! But a catalyst for something fair and just in a deaf society that sees suppression, control and fear as the answer to the cry of freedom, peace and harmony.
I went to Stonehenge for the first time in 1980 and felt uplifted about how together and hopeful the people were. I felt inspired to try and make it better.
I met Nik Turner in the winter of that year in a squat behind Sadler’s Wells theatre and he agreed to play at the Smokey Bears’ “Smoke-In” at Hyde Park.
We drove a psychedelic bus into the middle of Hyde Park, put up a stage, and held a mini festival with Black Slate, Androids of Mu, Here and Now, Inner City Unit, and speakers for the de-criminalisation of cannabis – an event that seems unimaginable now. It was a gas – but hair-raising what you had to do to draw attention to the injustice of our cannabis laws.
I met Willy X and Polytantric – an off-shoot of the White Panthers – and designs were swiftly drawn out for the layout of the stage and pyramid roof. Nik Turner was a fantastic help and gave valuable experience in erecting the pyramid which had originally made its debut with Sphinx at the Edinburgh festival. Two months of numerous phone calls to bands and performers brought together a programme of five days and nights of contemporary music with Ruts DC, the Thompson Twins, The Damned, Misty in Roots, and Hawkwind.
We dissolved back into the city and rejoined the nomadic drift from Stonehenge to Bristol to East Anglia and Wales from fayre to festival. At the beginning of the 80’s travellers were relatively free of hassle.
In ’82 after an international Cultural Herb festival in Brockwell Park, Brixton, with Jah Shaka, Loxsone Outernational and DBC we went to Stonehenge and did it all again – a beautiful buzz. Stonehenge was growing rapidly: in 1980 12,000 people had attended, but by ’82 there were 35,000.
Co-ordination between English Heritage, the National Trust and ourselves seemed to be breaking down – because of the festival’s expansion perhaps.
Many of Stonehenge’s problems could have and will be solved by closer co-ordination and planning by all parties.
In ’83 we decided to move the stage to the field closer to the woods and further away from the Stones. Sid Rawles and I wandered across the fields past the mounds clutching a dowsing rod; it twitched downwards and I opened my eyes to find myself in a circle of daisies – this had to be the place for the stage.
In ’83 the PA was boosted to 12K. PA wings were extended and the Black Pyramid light show organised visuals.
As in previous years we ran things as cheaply as possible, all the bands played for free and we bucketed the audience and traders, as the groups played, to keep the jenny running.
The six days and nights of music were amazing, with Doctor and the Medics, Hawkwind, Roy Harper, the Enid, Buster Bloodvessel, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Urban Warrior, Ted Chippington, Flux of Pink Indians, the Tibetan Ukrainian Mountain Troupe, Here and Now, and Benjamin Zephaniah, to name just a few.
By ’84 things were looking decidedly precarious. A group of travellers had squatted the Fargo Plantation in April, supposedly the National Trust’s budget for that year’s festival in the clear-up operation. The authorities were looking for scape-goats.
Three weeks before the festival I was cycling to the East-West Centre when my wheel hit a gutter and I went flying over the handlebars. I wke up in hospital with concussion and a broken arm., I phoned friends to get the stage and PA together. I arrived on site with an arm in plaster. The Polytantric got the stage up at the ‘Henge by the 16th of June.
A video crew arrived to record the Enid, Roy Harper and Hawkwind at the Stones.
Stonehenge ’84 was very emotional. Something had changed. When the music was over I walked to the mutated spider skeleton of scaffold poles of the pyramid and picked up another can to put in the plastic bag to add to the heap of sacks. I turned to the stones one more time and took a breath. Another helicopter rattled overhead.
I haven’t been to Stonehenge since, but I hope to make it this year. Hopefully I will see you there,
Love and Peace,
Burning Man – Black-Rock Desert. Nevada
Tash: I found your site through the Burning Man Web. You recount an extraordinary story. All that I knew previously about the events you recount might have filled a paragraph of your narrative. I feel like I have come across a prime example of the oft-cited power of the Web. Someday, maybe, a book will recount the story you have told. Pre-Web, that would have been the day I got my first clues about the scope of the story you have told. I read all kinds of international press, daily, and have done so for years. I had never read a media account of the events you describe, that hinted at the large scale of them. Here, today, I could find your story told in your words and pictures.
This is another old thread, but I had to be reminded while reading your account how very different have been the histories of public micro-cultures in the US and England over the past couple decades. I always understood that Punk was a very different and more serious culture in the UK than it was as practiced in the US. I understood that Rave culture also had more complex political underpinnings in the UK than it has had in the US. But your story of Rave culture having evolved from a separate and earlier Travellers culture, was news to me.
(I have to say, I grimaced in recognition at your mention of your first meeting techno amplification in the context of its drowning the music made by Travellers performing acoustic music. This was a primary experience for me at Bman this year, after four years of my attending the event. This was the first Bman year in which various (not all) techno crews seemed to suggest that the rest of the festival should consider itself secondary to their PA’s. “Love our music or leave our festival.”
Techno is one art-form. Bman is a festival of many arts. If the day comes when one art dominates the playa, Bman will end.)
Your story is a terrible cautionary tale for Bman. Each year, people close to Bman hold our breaths and hope the US versions of BrewCrews will not overrun the festival or provide some notable photo-op that politicians could play with. So far, it has not happened. If or when Bman falls, it will be BrewCrews who take it down.
But it hasn’t happened yet.
I don’t know if you have visited Bman. I can only guess what a long run it would be for you to reach black Rock Desert. In a way, it might not be critical for you.
It is obvious you are deeply involved with the UK cultures you have described. During most of the years you have focused on, I doubt there were any equal equivalent micro-cultures elsewhere in the world. UK was standing in for the world. At the moment, Bman represents such a node of focus; I hope not the only one, but one among the few such places. Larry Harvey of Bman made an observation I liked: He said, “Culture erupts,” in reference to the success of Bman.
Culture dies, too; but then it erupts again.
One of the best free parties i ever went to was set in some woods in Cockfosters, during one of the few hot days that we had last summer. So me an me chums we all pile onto the tube and set off for a picnic to prelude the event and spend the afternoon getting to know nature on a mental level. We all fell asleep after mucho consumption and woke up in the dark under a tree. It was like waking up in a magical wonderland.
The moonlight shining on the surface of a lake nearby and fairies dancing in front of our eyes and an insane giggly pumping bass line floating through the trees giving us the wakeup call that we all needed.
So we start to follow the noise, hunting down that party and are wandering through some pitch blackness and start to come across backdrops hanging from the branchs of trees lit up by uv lighting and mirror balls hanging twenty feet up in the air that lit up the surroundings with a ghostly magic feel. Adrenalin pumping, excitement flowing and great expectations all crash head on as we follow the magic glowing path (yes we were shrooming) to burst through some undergrowth to find ourselves overlooking a party of grand proportions. Some 500 colorful people spread out through a sunken clearing lit up by more sporadic mirror ball rays bouncing of tree leaves in the halflight.
At this point the firedancers among us started up which was where me chum decided he was thirsty and mistakenly drank some of the paraffin lying around. This left him in a rather odd state which prompted aonther mate to phone his mum and sober up enough to ask her (she was a nurse) ‘is drinking paraffin safe or can anyone have a go’ which left us all in fits of laughter. The paraffin victim quickly got better, if that is the right description and then went on a hash cake induced rampage through the crowd collecting clothing to try and cover himself up with so that he could sleep comfortably. He succeeded in finding two like minded lovelys who all cuddled up in the leaves afoot together and basically acted as cloakroom to the stars. A huge mound of jumpers bags and hats and blankets with 3 pairs of arms and legs sticking out.
So thirteen dance crazee hours later a real fairy and her devil turned up and started to hand out invitations to a bus heading back into London which was then duly loaded up with musicians gurners pixie people and the fairy and the devil, and this impromptu party bus headed back into central London, destination insanity, forcing a trail of music and creativity, that just shouted out to all that passed by ‘we’re all fucted and on a big red bus, wot are you doing with your weekend?’.
It stopped off to pick some food up from behind the bins of pret a manger (you know, all the sandwichs they can’t sell that day, they go for free to those that find them) so everyone could have breakfast and beef up. And this party bus arrived at The Warp in Town of which i could say many great things, (i’ve never before stopped dancing followed my trip out of a club into a cinema to play with the cartoons in Toy Story and then back into a club again to dance some more), but i won’t because that is another story…
Hello from Russia
It’s always great to have new friends in the internet.
Our authorities were always organizing repressions against that kind of people: travellers, gypsies, national minorities, homeless, etc.
We had no special laws on (exept one: that must be registered where you live all the time and you’ll be arrested if you have no that registration. But our police always had enough freedom to arrest everybody, It doesn’t metter did you something criminal or not. Policemen don’t like and that’s enough.
I started to participate in political and environmental movements in 1989 and was arrested first time that year because of my hair (looked like a punk). I was just standing near entrance of the supermarket and was smoking (very peacefully).
Yes, we have alternative festivals but unfortunately I have no information about future’s fests because I’m working against nuclear power right now and campaigning in some places at same time.
We definetely have a lot of rave parties (I mean Moscow). The gypsies are were under repressions during USSR time. Now their situation is not better. looking forward to hear from you,
wierd mushi experience
I had a bit of a wierd mushi experience. I had done shrooms a few times before and could handle most situations thown at me but nothing prepared me for what happened on this particular experience in Kemnay (Small village near Aberdeen)
I somehow at the the peak of a 250 shroom cake found myself in a circle of people. One of the members of the circle stepped forward and said “I’m going to tear your f*cking throat out”, I don’t care how hard you are but on or off shrooms you are going to feel a little stress. Not knowing quite what to do, and not wanting to wait for the proverbial hole to open up and swallow me I thought that the only way out would be to walk calmly out of the circle. To my surprise everyone made an exit for me and let me leave… no questions asked. I caught up with my friends and relayed as best I could under the effects what had happened. I knew it wasn’t the shrooms that “magically” made me think that what had happened took place ‘cos I knew it was real. I did enjoy the rest of the trip and took it all into my stride.
What ACTUALLY happend was that apperently some girl was having a 21st birthday party and some guy had touched her up. I just wandered into this circle of people for no reason and the offending guy was stood behind me.. doh!. If I had not had shrooms before that I don’t think I could have handled that experience at all. For those who are going to do them make absolutely SURE that you are in a nice environment and definately do NOT wander into a circle of aggressive people!
Been reading your pages.
I enjoyed your pages, I find a lot that interested me here, and it seems objective enough to me. Im originally from Shrewton near Stonehenge and in my teens experienced the festivals, the police activities and went to Parkhouse Corner that day in 1985 to try to understand for myself why people needed to be prevented from festival going.
I subsequently experienced harassement because I presumably looked like ‘one of them’, because I played games with the cruise convoy guards, or because they simply couldn’t place me as one of ‘them’ or one of ‘us’. All the effort I and my friends caused them to expend gives me a great deal of satisfaction but it doesn’t help breakdown the barriers between the instruments of the state and the rest of us. It is after all the state which is malevolent towards those who subvert its power structures, not the police. They’re as much pawns in the game as anyone. Anyway, this was just to say I’ve spent a while going through your pages and enjoyed the pictures and your comment.
University of Stirling. Scotland
And this is for anyone else who may read this:
Anyone in the security services checking out this mail… email me and let me know your point of view. Seriously. I’m studying the effect of ‘minority group’ material being expressed in the mass media of the internet. Do you feel that in the course of your job, reading Tash’s webpage makes you question your continued role in the police?
A piss at Glastonbury!!
Sunday night at Glasto last year we decided it would be wise to take a piss before settling down for a bit. For some reason we thought that going up against the nearest hedge wouldn’t do: we should visit the official facilities. Now we had figured out quite quickly that the portaloo doors were the gates to hell, so we were destined for the pit loos. Not so one poor inebriated soul, who entered one of the green units.
Next thing, we watched amazed as it toppled over onto its side, door facing down. As you may imagine, by this stage of the night they’re usually piled up above the brim with unspeakableness, this was no exception amid the evidence spilled out onto the grass.
A thumping ensued and we and some other passers-by looked uncertainly at each other. Should we help the poor bastard? What if he’s really hurt himself, might we have to touch him? How the hell would we get it upright? Some sort of unspoken group decision was made and a few others and I approached and rolled it over, with quite a thump, until the door opened and the most sorry, shit-sodden, stinking individual fell out in a pile at our feet.
We ran back, quite terrified, and to our relief he rose to his feet and stumbled off, in no worse state than when he went in (except for the shit).
I hope he had some really good mates with a hose and a hell of a lot of water. And I hope he had a sense of humour when he came to his senses in the morning.
Brighton Maga-free do July 2002
Beach Bummers Boozy Bottleneck
REVELLERS partied the night away on Brighton seafront last Saturday to the sound of overhead police helicopter display teams, traffic chaos, stranded emergency vehicles and the ecstatic screams of a quarter of a million happily crushed ravers.
The event, hosted by the Big Beached Buttock, featured the huge talent of disk jockey Fate By Slime who played some records to approximately 3000 people in front of Brighton West Pier. Meanwhile the remaining 247,000 party-goers looked on in awe and jubilation, but couldn’t hear a bloody thing.
Party animals had been bussed in from as far afield as the Highlands of Scotland where whole hillsides had been cleared of trees and vegetation to make way for huge billboard posters for the event of the century. Welsh revellers talked of sheep that had been used as walking adverts for the gig with directions written in Welsh and English branded onto their once snow white bodies. Council ‘helper’ Simone Franchise stated that the massive advertising campaign had been essential in order to make the Flat Boy Scam gig the huge success that it was: “Everyone knows that an event of this magnitude has to be hugely over-attended. Some people have moaned about litter and broken glass on the beach but let’s face it, where do you think all that rubbish came from? Mostly from our shops and therefore using our beach as a landfill site is good for business and good for everyone in Brighton.”
Life’s a Beach
Despite a handful of tragedies relating to the event, the police immediately ruled out any talk of an enquiry into the fantastically financially successful maritime pop show. Police spokesman Superintendent Death Ray stated that the problems relating to the salty extravaganza were ‘fairly obvious’ and an inquiry would tell organisers nothing they did not already know about the event. Luckily there had been only one death relating directly to the event and a mere 160 injuries during the night and as such the event had been ‘as safe as houses.’ Death added that having 250,000 drunk people and children trapped on a darkened Brighton beach in dangerously overcrowded conditions surrounded by broken glass and urine and unattended by emergency services was ‘character building’, creating a sense of community and togetherness reminiscent of the Blitz. Eyewitness reports that anarchy broke out as revellers threw bottles into the crowd and at emergency personnel have been dismissed as ‘unproductive’ criticism. As a result of the spectacular safety record and outstanding organisational skills displayed throughout Saturday evening by the police, officials felt questions raised by a handful of moaning locals were largely irrelevant. Brighton and Hove Council agreed whole-heartedly as did event organisers Big Beached Blunder.
Free for all party
Event Organisers The Big Blunder joined forces with the council and police to stress that in no way should the Filled By Slime gig be confused with the illegal free parties that have historically occurred on Brighton and Shoreham beaches. “We have gone to great lengths to stamp out the scourge that is the local free party scene; that cancerous rash that blights our cultural landscape should in no way be confused with legitimate council-backed beach-trashing events, all of which are wonderful and never go wrong”. Council spokesthing Simian Fanfare added that “The council only supports events that are much, much larger and more corporate than free parties and therefore better. More mindless consumers visiting Brighton means more beer and chips being sold everywhere, as well as silly hats, sales of which have gone through the roof, and that’s very important for our City of Culture Bid.” Mr Fiasco also pointed out that the costs of policing this particular event as well as the impact of a quarter of a million guests descending on the city meant the event was far from free to local residents – unlike the vast majority of free parties which have done nothing to improve the corporate worth of Brand Brighton.
Meanwhile free party organisers are said to be fleeing the country in fear of their lives as Brighton Council death squads are being mobilised to further enforce their ‘say no to unlicensed fun’ campaign. One free party organiser who prefers to remain nameless stated that: “We’re being persecuted because we keep throwing underground free parties for a few hundred locals without adequate advertising. Several of our crew were arrested last weekend for picking up litter and giving away free water to party-goers at an unlicensed free party. When they were eventually released, all they could do was dribble while reciting the Brighton and Hove mission statement over and over again.” The drugged up squat rave organiser later added that “Finding sites with adequate parking well away from the public scrutiny has just got us in the worst kind of trouble – maybe in future we should just organise Dresden style leaflet drops and invite everyone to come and piss on our beach; it seems to work OK for the council.”
After the unmitigated success of the gig on the beach, DJ Fete Boy (real name Naomi Coke) spent the remainder of the night guzzling Champagne and playing even more records for all of his celebrity friends in an exclusive Brighton nightspot. In the small hours, the exhausted DJ and his beautiful wife were whisked away in a limousine to their sparkling luxury condominium love pad with its private beach, which remains, as ever, beautifully clean.
Meanwhile, some people in our lovely new broken-glass-sparkly City, the ones who actually do useful jobs like clean the litter and look after sick people, have complained that they can’t actually afford to live here anymore. Some even joined the nationwide strike on Wednesday, complaining, “It’s time they (the Council) decided whether this is a playground for Londoners or a city for its own people.” Council spokesperson Simpering Fanatic told the Anus “Why don’t the poor people all just fuck off to Hastings?”
Hacienda trial in Manchester – whats it all about?
Friday 19th July 2002 Issue 365
WAKE UP! WAKE UP! IT’S YER ON THE DECKS… SchNEWS
weekend of 6.6.99, the hacienda nightclub, shut down and sold to luxury flat developers is squatted by the EF! ok cafe collective who get together a whopping great techno party as a benefit to support 11 people arrested at a manchester reclaim the streets a few weeks earlier. soon after the start time the same riot cops from the rts try to storm the building but fail to get in. in a strop they sealed off the area closing down two major roads all through the night while the party continues inside. they make sporadic arrests as they harrass and assault the ones who never made it in on time. at 8.00am the following morning the party, crew and equipment come out en masse to glorious sunshine, cheering crowds and bleary eyed journalists who bill it as a riot anyway. the arrest count is around 15.
Court update: most people were charged under sec 5 of the public order act, the catch all ‘keep quiet or you’re nicked, right that’s it in the van now’ law (abusive or threatening language or behaviour likely to cause distress or alarm). some with no experience of police or the courts plead guilty early on and were fined. the others took it to trial. at court recently on 6th march nine defendents were offered bind overs on the first day,(a sign of a weak prosecution case) six accepted. three contested. during the following two days even the magistrate laughed at the difference between the scenes decribed in police notebooks (riot, violence and threatening crowds) and that seen on the defence supplied video ( luvd up clubbers chatting to cops, and cops smashing people to the ground and beating them with truncheons).
the magistrate gave them bind overs and fines anyway. the defendants plan to sue the cops. and jack straw plans to extend this use of magistrate non-jury trial. also, had there been no d.i.y. video evidence showing the good nature of the crowd, the brutality of the police and the blatant discrepancies in their statements there is no doubt that this magistrate would have believed the cops and most of the defendants would have got custodial sentences. a final defendent is awaiting sentence. kennet simon’s case was separated from the others. outside the hacienda as the cops tried to stop people getting into the building, he watched a friend get arrested. he asked for the numbers of the arresting cops, the charge and the police station. he was thrown to the ground, cuffed, beaten and taken away. his charges, 2x assaulting a police officer, sec 5 public order act and obstruction. despite a lack of evidence and a strong defence the magistrate found simon guilty on all charges leaving the packed court room shocked and the barrister saying that he felt ‘sick to the depths of his stomach’. sentencing will be on 22 march and simon has lodged an appeal against conviction until which hopes to remain on bail.
And the ones from the rts trial? they have a three week crown court date beginning on June 19th. More later.
Mutoid Waste Company
Most people will have heard about the Mutoid Waste Company’s legendary large mad parties in a disused bus garage in London in the late 80’s, with the trippiest mutant sculptures this side of a nuclear holocaust creating a surreal 2000 AD style landscape of weirdness. All kinds of scrap metal and discarded waste items were used and the results were reminiscent of something in between Mad Max, Judge Dread and Strontium Dog.
Anyway, these pioneers of art, performance and partying are still at it, based in Rimini (Italy) they continue to put on parties, transform environments, make sculptures and generally mutate anything they can get their hands on.
The first time I saw you was on TV – on some 40 minutes programme – I thought I was tripping!
· What is the idea behind Mutoid Waste?
When we do a party we want people to be aware of walking into another reality. Our shows have been described as walking into someone else’s dream or nightmare, whichever way you want to look at it. We definitely try to give people something to remember and think about. Open the mind, turn people on, give alternative ways/paths – that’s our buzz and always will be.
· What kind of performance work do you do?
The show we’ve been doing was developed in a slaughterhouse. It’s called “Eurokarcass” it involves the Pope, and has made witnesses vomit in the past.
· What futuristic characters are there in your shows?
Well, there’s the “Cromo Nun”, the “Pope on a Rope”, the” Virtual Reaper”, “Marcus M’Karcuss”. The fun loving public face of that famous fast food franchise “Eurokarcass” not forgetting Miss Eurokarcass”. Let’s hear it for all these sorry victims of corporate Gluttony and let’s not forget “The Zombie Drummers”, “The Transformers”, “The Breathing Man”, “The Iron Lung”, “The Fire Dragon”, “The Auto Grill (car on a spit) etc.etc.
· How has your sculpture work developed?
Well! Over the years it’s gone bigger, smaller, more colourful, blacker, uglier, more beautiful. At the moment pretty burnt out, you know “Scorched Earth” Policy and all that. At least it’s getting away from UV!
I believe you’ve had a sculpture accepted by the Royal Academy.
That sculpture accepted by the British Academy, all credit goes to Sam Haggarty. He’s been doing stuff for years. You’ve probably seen his massive fiberglass heads and hands at parties and festivals all over.
· Have you done anything along the lines of “Car Henge” recently?
Since “Car Henge” we’ve got “Truck Henge” here. We had “Tank Henge” in Berlin using 3 Russian Panzas and there are plans for “Plane Henge” to appear at “Earth Dream 2000” Australia. The Berlin “Tank Henge” was surrounded by 4 tanks standing on end and 2 Russian Mig 21 Jets.
· Are you doing any work with SRL or any of your own work on robotics?
We had talks with them in Berlin, but we’ve not worked together yet, and yes we have our own Robotic creatures. We nearly sold SLR one of our Mig 21 Russian Fighter Jets but did not quite manage it.
· How come you moved to Italy? and how is it different to England?
England has been there, seen it, done it, doing it. There were already a lot of people turned on and doing their thing. Italy was quite open for something else, which happened to be us. Lots of people had not even imagined or thought about anything like us existing. It was a totally new concept to go in to a warehouse and transform it into another planet! Not anymore. Also we wear less clothes and people speak Italian.
· How do you feel about people who’ve imitated what you do?
Well it is what we preach “hear the word”. About fucking time – Mutate and survive – where’s our percentage?!
· Have you been influenced by 2000 AD?
Yes, of course we’ve been influenced by 2000 AD. Also Beano, Paul Daniels and Albert Hoffman.
· What kind of music do you play at your parties these days?
We make an environment and play music for the mood. We have our own DJs with a wide selection of sounds and also call in DJs from the spirals and Bedlam.
· What memories do you have of “The Island” (Javakade) in Amsterdam?
Septic Death, Scrap Metal, the Bus Bar.
Fair comment I guess.
My first Glastonbury
last year was my first trip to Glastonbury and with the thanks of Guilfin i played a terribly pissed set (which all the other trashed people enjoyed 🙂 after which i went off to enjoy the other festivities. i entered the dance tent just as fat boy slim started his set and the place was ROCKING… it was awesome. thanks to going out with one of the crew i was lifted over the barriers and carried back stage, where i got a very privilidged seat in the house watching the crowd ROAR to the Chemical brothers who were doing a dj set. I have to admit that there wasn’t enough visuals for me as they weren’t bouncing around like the lunatics that I have come to love and work with. And i told them so, not that it meant much to them.. after many days and nights of seriously hard partying, sex and pleanty of drug taking it was time to leave.
Sunday night was upon us and i had work the next morning. “I’ll just drop my back-stage pass back to the lads” I said to much protest from my friends but i was adament. i trecked across the mile of land and found my way to the dance tent. I had what i thought was a quick line of K and stumbled without much success in what I thought was the direction of my lift. I ended up outside the festival and asked a kindly Policeman where the frig I was. he was ummm useless.. i then got sprung upon by some guy hiding in the bushes who grabed at me, but only got away with my jumper. I continued and finally after 2.5 hrs i got back to the site to find my lift had gone! Oh NO! Trembling, alone and very unhappy i stumbled back across the fields to the dance tent once more where i forget what happened next, only the pictures in my camera told the story (Thank you whoever you were who took those shots of me in that terrible state!!!) I awoke the next day in the back of a van alone and freezing cold. it was 1.30pm and I was definately not going to make it to work. After several hours of pacing around the fields in anger I phoned work and told them what had happened and that I probably wouldn’t be in work until Wednesday, they were thankfully very understanding. I helped the dance tent pack away and very late that evening clambered into the back of the van to head for home.. Finally i reached home and there is nothing in the world quite like a hot bath.. My expedition has taught me care and caution.. but I’ll never stop having fun and to say that I hadn’t had an adventure would be a lie. I had, and one of the most exotic of my life. I’m glad that everything has a positive side and that we can learn from every experience we have. it is all in the eye of the beholder and although it may seem like I’d had a bit of a nightmare I’m bloody glad that I went, had a storming good time and lived to tell this tale to you now.. Be kind to one another for one day it might be you…. one more thing, if you are going to do k, stay at home for reality is not what it seems…
Researching the Criminal Justice Act
Tash: Am still researching the criminal justice and public order act for my phd. i have carried out all my interviews now and am supposed to be starting analysis soon which will then hopefully lead to some articles or papers. otherwise i can send you a copy of a report i have been involved in with the home office assessing the use of the public order provisions of the criminal justice act by police. i would like to point out though that i was not given a copy of the report prior to it being published to check it out. i am therefore not willing to take any responsibility for anything my colleague wrote in it. that makes it sound like a scary report, which it isn’t. it is just a report of what the coppers do with the act. one of the reasons i am doing my phd is because i carried out that report with the home office and felt there was so much injustice, it was vital that the travellers views were considered. my existing contacts with tavellers meant i could do the research on my own. i no longer work in any way for or with the home office.
i am now a lecturer at the university of plymouth (new job, bit scary) in criminal justice studies, but i am carrying on with my phd. i am determined that i will continue to work with travellers and alternative movements. i recently went to a seminar where thomas acton was presenting (he wrote loads of stuff on gypsy politics etc.) and although i did not agree with a large amount of what he said, there was one thing that really struck a cord with me. he said that gypsies and travellers are treated by academia and social researchers as a good ‘topic’ for a phd, but that is where it ends. it is very rare for research to go beyond that level. well, how can travellers rights be adressed if they are only considered by students with very little power, funds and ability to get their work published and into the public forum? i am determined that my work with travellers will continue. i have a huge amount of admiration for you and your work, your photo’s say more than any academic could attempt to say. i just hope that i can support the travellers and go some small way towards giving people the right to make their own life choices.
anyway, sorry if this is a bit of a rant, i don’t really have many people to talk about it to that really know whats going on out there and i’ve been bogged down with this new job and so can’t get on with my own work. i will be teaching a course on alternative cultures soon though, hopefully opening some students eyes.
i think your new web page looks dead smart, its a bit clearer, i like the boxes of colour. the continually changing pictures change a bit too fast though i think, but maybe it just takes my mind longer to get into gear!
if you want a copy of my home office report just drop me a line with an address and i’ll post it off asap.
Nottingham Reclaim the Streets
Makes you laugh, oh dear. Better set the scene here before I get accused of vagueness or sum thing. Ok, This was Nottingham’s third attempt at an RTS, the previous two being held aloft as the quintessential example of what an out of London RTS should be, well except for the 60 arrests last year. It is also the final year in this tortuous millennium and the Babylon machine has been coughing and wheezing out its full venomous spew for many a moon now huh?
Ok lets face it since June 18th, have we not noticed a slight shift in Babylon attitude to RTS did not top bod say “we must now treat it as in inherently criminal activity”. What’s it mean though they’ve always been cunts, always been able to smack you in the face or push you to the ground. Arrest you for voicing an opposing opinion to their brainless philosophy of blind single file order. Yep, but they where always met by such an overpowering energy smacking them right in the face and shouting “we are here now and we will take what is ours.” And so it ever was if things have been on top it’s just added to the thrill of the moment the experience of being part of this disorganised chaos, on the side of right, and ultimately pre-destined to win or at least take a road in your own town for 5 hours out of a year.
But I’ve sensed a lot of fear since J18 a strange knowledge that somewhere a line was crossed that can’t be uncrossed, and some where a door shut and a lock clicked But. I take a lot of ketamine and sense all sorts of stuff from invading alien hordes to sticky parrot love so ignore everything just remember if possible.
Sepetember 18th 1999 Once again market Square was the meeting point by around one there was a crowd of a round 250 a noticeable drop in numbers from the previous years, perhaps due to the extremely low key method of promotion this year, a word of mouth campaign directed almost exclusively to one small section of Nottingham. But never mind about numbers because as we moved off it all seemed fine the crowd morphed into a long trail, and spread slowly down Nottingham’s roads. The chants began and once again dazed onlookers stopped and unleashed their ever hilarious mix of disgust, konfusion, and/or delight.
The people up front, and behind a Reclaim banner, pushed forwards, or left, or right, depending on some whim, and the traffic slowly began to grind to a halt. At this point four mounted officaz, galloped out of some dim dark hold, and moved to block the road ahead. “Stop! Stop where you are!”, shouted one large breasted lady. “Fuck off”, shouted one krusty. So, it was down to a battle of cunning now, as the horses where moved sideways on so as to form an impenetrable barrier to the aggressively amused crowd. Unfortunately for the koppas, four horse lengths a street width do not make, and the crowd passed through, I doubt if some even noticed the horse’s.
Then the inevitable a wail of sirens, a screech or tyres, a young child screams, a wolf howls. Three fully laden riot vans rush round the corner and out jump the riot boyz. Immediately people are grabbed by their tops, then let go. The police form a line and try to stop anyone from passing but of course a few do, perhaps 15 or so they go ‘right then’ and jump back in the vans and speed off.
The crowd continues with renewed happiness ‘Reclaim the streets’ and whooooops. And these are the main roads of the city now, the veins feeding the outer limbs pumping metallic globules. Then the police again the crowd runs takes he next junction police go again crowd cheers, approaches next junction police turn up crowds can’t get past this time turn right police go crowd turns around police turn up crowds go police cheer crowds get back in vans and arrest police sort of like tennis.
Then at last we’ve managed, by great skill and cunning no doubt to manoeuvre ourselves down a small street with a large police line at one end and no side streets so, the crowd turns but a second line appears I even here an office shouting, with a voice tinged with far too much adrenaline “we’ve got it now!!!”. So the crowd is trapped down a dull side road with no rig I don’t know if the police intended to hold that position for long still their motives are mainly mystery to me. Some of the crowd begin, with fox like cunning, to convince the police that they are now bored and wish only to go home, but the police only growl and drool.
At last super stealth mode kicks in though as the crowd spots the long row of terraced houses, forming one length of our prision obviously these houses have small alley ways and as one the crowd begin to stream into these what happened then has to be one of the most comic moments ive ever witnessed at an RTS hundreds of people getting completely lost and disorentated down this maze of alleyways bumping into crowds coming back the other way from dead ends or spotting groups darting up some other hidden ally. The net result after ten minutes or so of hilarity was finding an opening approximately three meters behind the police line. The police, looking a bit dejected now watched as the crowd streamed past them once more into the main road.
The pace seemed to pick up a bit now and boiled down to an almost playstation like game of racing to the next junction before the police vans turned up to block the march.
After a while the crowd began heading away from town and over towards the the NG7 area and the forest ground. Here a few final blockades where erected but caused little difficulty.
And then at last shouts of “surround the van, surround the van”, could be heard. It was a little puzzling though standing in the middle of the road blocking the progress of police vans, while all around people streamed past on the adjacent forest ground (a large open green area).
But sure enough it was no illusion a van was parked up next to the ‘park & ride’, and a crowd surrounded it I could spot speakers being unloaded. As I got nearer and sat down on the soft grass to roll a well deserved fat one I couldn’t help voicing the polices thoughts “Oi you cunts we’ve just spent a hundred grand on this operation now get back on the fucking streets!!!!!!”
So the music started and a party was in progress it was a good party and it was nice to relax after the earlier madness. The local rag reported the event ‘Just an excuse for a party’. I don’t know for sure, we usually don’t need much excuse for a party at all. And for all the reasons a gave at first I don’t want to criticise the organisers who have justifiable reason to worry. But it brings up a rather relevant issue I suppose how many people at an RTS are there to save the world and how many just want to get fucked and have a laugh it’s tiring to stand in the face of excruciating opposition and perhaps the only real difference that we can ever make is to ourselves, something the lost it hedonist does understand.
I remember the fuss caused by a banner at one of the big London RTS’s the banner read ‘They want to fight, we wanna dance”, opinion has ever crystallised down the lines of those who believe that banner, and those who want to turn the ‘fight’ of that slogan into the empowering ‘fight’ of the struggle.
One things for certain each RTS is different and they each have a lesson to teach and the lessons probably different for ever single person, for some Nottingham’s RTS will only of said “Arse, must not take so many pills”, for others it said, “What?”, and to others it merely whispered that it was all part of some wonderful plan.
bloke done far too much acid goes paranoid mental
Glastonbury 2000, bloke done far too much acid goes paranoid mental and jumps on stage at guilfin ambient lounge brandishing glass bottles. They are all out to get him, he tells us, the stage is the only safe place. Hour later. . . . stage seige situation dies down as does mental blokes acid. Post come-up, bloke decides taking stage at glastonbury hostage probably not his best idea. He is sheepishly escorted off by security. Twat.
You probabaly wont remember me. My name is Greg. I travelled with the convoy from about 83 to 86, with lots of visits to festivals from squats in London and Guildford from 75 to 82.
My first festival was the ill fated ‘Windsor Free’ that got busted, when I was 15, than at Watchfield where my band ‘Astral Synthesis’ played on the Polytantric stage, just after some members of Traffic played on the main stage, but we got rained off in a heavy downpour. I was only 16 than. I left the band after that.
I met you on a few occaisions in various peoples buses. I think I got to know you a little at Inglestone common. I was living in a Blue Lodge, with an ‘eye of Horus’ on the Door with Manik Mark, Sarah and the Kids, you must remember little Chris, and Willem. I made that lodge and mark carried it on his little blue van.I was also at Molesworth we had the lodge up om the hill, and at that washpout at Darwen Pick up bank. Mark later shacked up with Jenny. I looked after Jen’s army truck for a while when they went to Amsterdam.
I think we were the first to be searched when the bust came at Inglestone, a geezer (plain clothes cop) with long hair burst in, wearing a ‘Nepalese Temple Balls’ T shirt and said ‘wheres the stuff, wheres the stuff’. ‘What is stuff?’ I thought.
Later I had a ‘J’ type tipper and an old mollicroft trailer painted in Showmans colours (by a guy named ‘Bamboo’, maybe you know him?). I also had a yello FG (7 ton I think) which I rebuilt enlarging the crew cab, it had a kind of ‘cyclops’ looking window in the front, and the new body work wasnt painted so it looked a bit odd. I drove it to the end of Stonehenge in ’84.
I have been out of touch with everyone since ’86, which was when I drove my truck down to Morroco, and got it impounded in Estspona (Spain) by the Guardia Civil. I then stayed in Spain for about 4 months, and eventualy made my way to India where I have been ever since.
I wonderd was if you might have any pictures of me or my trucks, or Tipis.
There was the blue Lodge at Inglestone, at that huge Mansion in Bristol, Molesworth I think at Ashton Court, Maybe also Deeply Vale. Then at Stonehenge 84 I put up an incomplete lodge which I was making for mark. We put up the poles, and made a domed bender inside with an orange tarp, it looked great. Then I had the Yellow FG flatback with the Extended ‘cyclops’ windowed silver crew cab. I lived in that with Min who later shacked up with Pikey Pete.
I also was up at that peace camp cant remember where, north east somewhere when word of the first Trashing came out. Seagull and a bunch of us drove over there and 24 hours after those drivers had been arrested the whole convoy drove out. I was going to drive out ‘Phil the beer’s’ fire Tender, after his daughter asked me. But later Seagull insisted he drive it, and if you know him, there is no use in arguing, so I drove his rig out instead. It was great fun watching the old bill in amazement as we drove off.
I missed the beanfield. By then I realised that there was no way you can take on the government by brute force. That was when I decided the UK was a lost cause.
I realised that after all the trouble the Windsor bust (was that ’74) gave the Thames Valley police, they were reluctant to do anything. I remember that for a year or two they followed the convoy everywhere in unmarked cars. I guess they were just watching and figurung our weak points. Inglestone was practice.
I am now into Organic Farming and Sustainable architecture, here in India. But I have had enough now here, and I am looking for a farm community to move to somewhere in Europe, where we can hunker down for the millenium. Do you know of anywhere?
Thanks Tash for your time.
I didn’t realise that you guys were online. One day I figured I would have a bit of a surf to see what I might dredge up, and it was unbeleivable to see pictures of the convoy, I was in bliss. Thanks a lot for a great service to Albion and the people. Tash I cant thank you enough for a great website.
transparent carpet 10 feet above my head
Here is a 1999 Sunday night Glasto tale. Not funny at all, but still a part of a festival. I really want to win one of those CDs so I’ll try anything……….
The music of The Roots is playing. It is very loud indeed. The speaker system is so good that the sound spreads out like a transparent carpet 10 feet above my head. And above the music, multi-coloured Temple Décor banners hang pulsing to the changes in light. Dancers move all around – packed in as tight as possible. I am kneeling by the head of Tony as he lies on the ground. He, a medic, Tony’s mate, and I are in a small area among the moving feet. Tony is unconscious.
“He won’t die will he?” shouts his mate in to my ear. “No. He’ll be fine. The ambulance is coming. They’ll sort him out.” I yell back.
Tony’s mate slumps slightly forward. He gently strokes Tony’s arm. “Oh Tony, Tony, please don’t die.” He starts to sob his head lolling forward. I put my arm around him and hold him steady. I feel him move toward me. We kneel together and together watch the medic gently try to revive Tony. He does not respond. Time passes. The rich sound of The Roots, achingly beautiful, tempting and exciting passes around us and through us. A disturbing live soundtrack to the tragedy that is before us. “Hang in there, man”. I shout. “Hang in there for Tony”. He nods positively and visibly stiffens his back. After a couple of minutes I feel he is stronger and stand up.
My yellow fire steward’s jacket shines out brilliantly in the UV light. I am glowing. A girl at the edge of the crowd in front is trying to tell my reaction to the drama at my feet. I just want to cry. Now standing, the full force of the manic energy present in the dance tent is evident. Everywhere moving bodies. Everywhere a riot of colour. Everywhere excitement. I pull a bottle of water from my bag and pass it to Tony’s mate. He nods and drinks and nods again as he passes the bottle back to me. He’s doing great. And then the ambulance crew are among us, as more stewards appear and we clear a bigger circle and the crew place Tony on a stretcher and we push back the crowd to create a passage back to the ambulance standing 50 feet away at the entrance to the dance tent. The crowd is so deeply packed in that people only 3 or 4 behind us did not even know we were kneeling there and look surprised as stewards run ahead clearing the stretcher which is speedily brought outside. The medics get Tony’s mate in the back of the ambulance with Tony and as they are driven away I see the relief in his face. Relief at activity. Relief to be in the hands of medical staff. Relief that everything will be OK for we trust and believe in our medical people implicitly for they can perform miracles. I exchange a glance with the medic and we part – she backstage, I to the madly dancing crowd so full of excitement and colour. The music is so lush, so powerful, so loud. It immediately lifts my spirits.
I have just been involved with a highly emotive piece of successful teamwork and I am impressed. Deeply impressed. The glory that is the music of The Roots shines deep in to my heart. I think that I will never hear this music again without thinking of Tony’s mate and the love he showed for his unconscious friend. Later I discover Tony came round after 1 hour and is fine. Right there, right then, I could only feel God and know he was where he always was………for ecstasy has many forms and many sides to it.
This is just a quick (personal) note to let you know how the Cardiff RTS got on yesterday.
” Four lanes of auto-madness were reclaimed in the city centre, on the bridge over the river Taf for about 3-4 hours. A sound system got in 5 minutes after the party started, but there were amp and genny problems for about 30 mins. This rig then played out to happy party-goers (and the FIT guys who were at Brixton), against a back-drop of great banners hung from lamp-posts and a veritable see of custard. People from trade-union organisations and crusties danced side by side until about 8:30pm, when the people walked as one to a great warehouse for an after-party party, followed by extremely fluffy (“no headlines please”) cops. The leccy was on in the warehouse, and the sound system from the RTS grew throughout the night as more bits and bobs arrived. As I write this, I’ve just got home from the great warehouse party – the time is 8:00am ! The RTS crew made sure that bottles of water were available for the more-enthusiastic party goers before relaxing and getting down to serious boogying (nice and safe).”
Birmingham Northern Relief Road
The mysterious men-in-black, ex -special forces veterans, specialise in tunnel evictions. In the past half-hour they announced that have reached one of the tunnellers defying eviction on the route of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road. However they state that due to the sophistication of the tunnel & lock-on, that it will take them up to three days to evict the protester, a female teenager. The ashes of ‘Sorted Dave’, who died earlier this year on-site, are part of the defences being used in this lock-on.
In a further sinister twist the Under Sheriff of Staffordshire today ordered the screening off of the eviction site at Moneymore Cottages on the route of the proposed Birmingham Northern Relief Road. This move by the Under Sheriff prevents impartial observers including the media from being able to view what methods the authorities are employing during the evictions. Protestors claim that the last time this happened at Manchester Second Runway people including journalists were subjected to violence.
One of the first people to leave one of the camps at Manchester was a BBC Wales cameraman who complained of being struck with a truncheon. He was seen by millions of TV viewers with blood dripping from his head. Many protesters were repeatedly punched in the head by the men-in-black while lying on the floor attempting to shield themselves.
At the Trolhiem eviction on the route of the A30 in Devon the authorities were alleged to have used torturous means during the operation.
We were responsible for bringing the rave element to the stones for the spring Equinox. We were trying to show a new generation the splendour of the place and remind another that we can still party at the stones and gain access in larger numbers without damage bieng caused to the stones or any trouble.
We believe that to restrict access to “The chosen few” is an insult to others who share an equal right to walk among the stones as anyone.
We would value your opinion on the party and our web site where our version of events and future plans will be posted shortly.
We believe in a form of direct action using partys and fluro fun to make some form of statement We gave out a sheet at the stones outlining a brief history of the stonehenge struggle, this will be available on our site soon.
I hope to hear your views.
On Saturday, Mutant Dance celebrated it’s 8th birthday by putting on a free party for the Equinox at Stonehenge, the first in over ten years…. A year ago, you would be lucky to be allowed to park up your car within 5 miles of the stones, but three weeks ago, the ban on gatherings at Stonehenge was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights.
After the usual chaos, fuckups and general anarchy that goes into putting on a party of this kind, about 300 people were gathered around a geodesic dome painted fluoro and lit by UV lights (it could be seen for miles!) dancing to techno, about 100 yards from the site of the infamous battle of the beanfield. I was 6 years old when all that shit went down, it was a pretty traumatic experience and I always knew we had to have a free party there sometime, if only to prove a point. Well, thats one ambition fulfilled!
At sunrise, partygoers had access to the stones, and the party was allowed to continue as long as we wanted it to. No problems with the authorities (in fact we will have some photos of one copper getting into the party spirit soon)
We gave out a telephone number to call on saturday for directions to the party, and when people heard where we planned to do it, we were laughed at – no-one believed we could pull it off. In future, if you hear that we are planning to do the impossibe, come along and check it out!
Big thanks to Simon Barber and crew for bringing along the dome, and to Niki Dinsey for providing a temporary sound system to keep people happy while the proper rig arrived. Huge ta to Mike and Tom for the sound system, no-one else would risk it! Distinguished service medal for heroism above and beyond etc goes to mutant Frank. Respect!
Wicked team spirit that made it all happen, too many contributors to mention, but you know who you are…
Finally thanks to all those who believed in us and made the effort to come along.
We’ll be back….
totally naked except for cowboy boots and hat
Remember your very first festival? UMM silly question probably not!I do mine though,or at least bits of it.Glastonbury it was, I was,lets see,16 it think maybe 17 so that would’ve been 82 or 83. I do remember watching UB40 if that gives you a clue? LOL
My m8 and I set off well prepared for our first ever festy,no tent,no torch,no clothes,lots of money,lots of stash and 2 sleeping bags.Which was kinda dumb as we had no tent!But we were very young!Indeed,so young and naive were we that when we actually got there it never occured to us that it was quicker to get over the fence than queue up and pay at the gate! Anybody who has only been recently may not understand,but the fence then was about 8 feet high!In fact the security was so bad that the following year 6 of us walked straight through the gate without anyone getting stopped.Well,myself and my m8 shit what was his name?Always reminded me of huggy bear form starsky and hutch?(therefore obviously he was black) we got grabbed by security,he kept hold of my m8 but not me so as he walked us to the Security office which was turn right thru the gate,I carried on walking straight down the hill when they turned right and gave them a little wave when he finally noticed I was gone and 400 yards down the hill!My friend eventually annoyed them so much that they gave up and let him in too!
But I digress,that was my 2nd glastonbury,back to the first!We got in,had said to our friends who had been driving there “Well we know you have a red datsun so we’ll just walk round and find you!” HMMMMM At that time you could drive even into the main field,at least the top half anyway.Suddenly realized actually how many cars there were!And in how many fields.So we thought it was time to sit down and have a joint.Suitably stoned we walked about 100 yards down the first path we saw and low and behold there was their red datsun!SPOOKY!But nice!The first evening we slept in a m8’s tent,too wrecked to even get out.Woke up in the morning (probably afternoon!) and crawled outside spliff in mouth to find a beautiful young lady sunbathing NAKED (remember this is 18 years ago and I was about 16!) RIGHT OUTSIDE THE TENT!! I was in heaven man!Music,freedom to do my thing and NAKED WOMEN OUTSIDE THE TENT!!
Gotta laugh,these days I wouln’t even notice a naked woman outside my tent!Well,not if it was very early.Certainly not before midday. 😉 Wandering round later desperately trying to find our way round without a sitemap we come across a 40’s bearded guy,totally naked except for cowboy boots and hat,shouting at a hot air balloon ( I believe they actually had a tethered balloon doing rides over the site ?) saying “You might think your safe up there,but you have to come down sooner or later,and when you do,I’l be F******* waiting!!!”
WERE YOU THAT MAN?? THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW !!
Amazed ourselves walking round all these tents with people quite openly (like,signs hung on their tents saying what they had) selling weed!!Now I KNEW I was in heaven.By evening we returned to the car and decided to eat some acid with my sister and her boyfriend and go get ready to watchUB40 and check out the lasers.Great idea,sat on the hill with a case of beer,got shitfaced and totally entranced by the lasers.Then realised we had to find our way back through a sea of tents in pitch darkness (we didn’t have the sense to stay by a path,and it was REALLY dark back then once they turned off the arena lights) to the car and our sleeping bags.Must’ve taken us about 2 hours,4 of us hand in hand so we didn’t get lost,me in front,lumbering 6 foot four giant with size 12 feet totally blind from seeing colours off the acid.I dread to think how many peoles tents we demolished,we actually fell right on top of one that had poeple in it and left it and them in a heap on the floor!!How we ever got back I don’t know,we spent that night curled up in our sleeping bags by the side of the main path next to the car and we didn’t even get mugged.Imagine trying to do that these days!!
Next morning get woken up by a girl trying to sell off her obviously very large stash of oil before the end of the festy,for some (at the time) ridiculous price of about £2 a gram.We bought shitloads of it,I had a gram in coffee and passed out in the sun fully clothed for about 6 hours.OUCH!It was very hot!Realised we had to leave that night after the last band for someone to get to work and we couldn’t possibly smoke all the oil we had just bought and we were afraid of getting pulled so we started giving it away to people on our way out,they thought we were VERY strange.Got lost on the way ended up in Bath(we live in Wales!!!!).Eventually get h me next morning totally dazed and aconfused,must’ve taken us a month to recover,but the first one is always the one you remember.Bits of at least! LOL
I was hooked for years after that,finally stopped going when they started getting lots of trouble with mugging and suchlike.Haven’t ben now for about 10 years,but we are planning a comeback next year,in that (don’t F****** laugh) field espescially for caravans and shit,bit quieter apparently.Well.I am getting on now!And my caravan has a toilet, cooker, oven, fridge, BEDS,and WATER!! So watch out next year,Big Dave is back on the block!Free tea,biccies and spliff to anyone whofinds me and mentions Guilfin!You’ll see me,I’m 6 foot 4,just as wide and have a big welsh accent! LOL Mizem espescially welcome 😉
Eviction begins at Arthur’s wood
Police and Bailiffs moved in this morning to begin the process of evicting protesters from Arthur’s wood. Police are putting up fences and sealing the site. At least 30 people are up the trees and 4 people are in the tunnel.
An exclusion zone has been set up in the area to prevent people gaining access to the site.
A convoy of riot police (TSG) has been seen moving toward the site.
Supporters of the protest are concerned that the police may be heavy handed and ignore potential safety issues when evicting protesters, Jean said:
“I hope they don’t bring heavy machinery into Arthur’s wood this could
seriously threaten the lives of the people down the tunnel”
Arthur’s wood is due to be chopped down by Manchester Airport PLC in order to satisfy the requirements of the civil aviation authority to provide an obstacle limitation surface for Manchester airports second runway.
At the public inquiry into whether permission to build the second runway be granted it was clearly stated that Arthur’s wood would not be touched, maybe another inquiry should be held and presented with the true facts. Friends of the Earth Manchester have documentary evidence of this.
According to the National Trust act 1937 work may only be carried out on National Trust land if it improves the land, chopping down the trees in Arthur’s wood by no stretch of the imagination can be seen as improving the wood. The plan the National Trust has, to allow some of the wood to re grow would mean constant felling to keep the height of the trees below that needed for the runway, this would change the nature of the wood for ever. When you look at the wood you soon realize that most of the trees would need to be felled absolute.
Arthur’s wood is very old and has many large trees. When you walk through the wood many established species can be seen, a lot of these species can take hundreds of years to become established, this diversity will be lost by machinery and tree felling which will rip apart the soil structure a crucial part of any fragile Eco system.
When you look at the National Trust’s leaflet for Quarry Bank Mill which is adjacent to the Style Country park you will notice that Manchester Airport PLC are sponsors. Obviously some form of deal, back hand or up front has been done in order to keep the National Trust on side with Manchester Airport PLC.
The Eviction at Arthur’s wood has moved into day 7 with protesters still occupying the site. The camp at Cedars wood has been cleared, One female protester held a naked protest and was only brought down after two female climbers were flown in.
The water in Arthur’s wood would appear to have been tampered with, protesters described it as, “smelling of eggs” and having a funny taste. After two protesters suffered bad guts the bailiffs allowed water to be bought onto site. Food in the site is running low, this substantiates claims that the evicting forces are using siege tactics in the eviction.
A walkway used to get into the camp was chopped by bailiffs who managed to evict two protesters from trees over the weekend.
The evicting tunneling bailiffs built steps down to the tunnel entrance, the four people inside the tunnel are reported to be in good health but the sheriff has refused the protesters safety person onto site. This is contrary to agreements made at the safety meeting when the sheriff gave permission for an appointed safety person to have contact with the people down the tunnel. No check is being kept on the safety of the people down the tunnel. Past experience has shown that when this is the situation the evicting forces can employ any tactics they wish, this has led in recent past to people being tortured and tunnel cave in’s caused in order to frighten the living daylights out of protesters. These tactics are not used when the situation is being properly monitored by both sides.
At least 15 people remain on site awaiting eviction. 6 people were evicted from trees on Monday. All the walkways have been chopped round witches hat (nearest treehouse to the river). Evicting climbers are using spikes on trees that aren’t due to be chopped, thus damaging trees unnecessarily. The National Trust are cross about this and are chasing it up.
London Reclaim the streets
Everyone met up in Kennington Park, or at least a park near to Oval tube. The local off-licenses made a killing. Lots of leaflets espousing dead-horse ideology were handed out, black flags were unfurled, many, many dogs running about. Sonically speaking, yes, there were drums. And whistles.
Then, at a time pre-arranged, the green banners we were supposed to follow made off in a northerly direction. Assorted dockers, dossers, ravers, quavers, soap-dodgers, push-chairs and me upped and offed with ’em.
We strolled through the Sarf Lahndan streets supping premium Euro lager. Some of us stopped at a pub run by a confused bearded man. All sexes shared the same toilets, which was a really nice touch, though some people seemed a little tied down in tradition in this respect.
By the time we rolled out of the pub, the demo had gone…so, we had to leg it to the front, past MI5 and Parliament, to be entertained by some old skool brass band, and some extremely nu-school acousto-junglists. When they finished their astonishing manual beat theory, I cried out “Rewind”, which was dead psilly, coz, like, it weren’t on vinyl. Heh. Anyway, we wanted to see some violence, so off we went to Downing Street…
Well, we got there just in time, my friends. Now some might question the moral rectitude of wishing to see a few armored old bill duffed up by totally unarmoured anarchists and ne’erdowells, but to be honest, I see that as entertainment. Not as , errr, sophisticated and well-oiled as the Gladiators, but far more credible and ‘street’ in this post-post modern age. I managed to get right to the front, leant up against the barriers outside Downing Street, grinned at the pig-thug opposite and dutifully rang my parents to tell them where I was. Ah, that was the life, bottles flying around me as i was jostled by media scum angling for that perfect photo that defined the moment. One genius managed to smash the Downing Street lamps with a perfectly aimed (champagne ?) bottle. Another scaled the gates to rapturous cheers. Yet another, featured in today’s Daily Telegraph, actually broke into that Bastion Of The State – The Foreign Office – and saw fit to throw incredibly sensitive documents into the street. Yes! According to one of these papers, Maggie was ejected from power because her prodigious gin consumption was threatening to empty the treasury coffers. Mother’s ruin, mate.
Pretty soon after all of this, a furious John Major emerged from Number 10 whirling a sock full of billiard balls around his head, shirt sleeves pulled up, followed by Ken Clarke stripped to the waist and ready for some head-breaking action. Boy, the PM was fucking mad, shouting and swearing like a fucking nutter. The coppers had to hold him back. Now, John Major’s quite a big fella, and we should thank the police for taking good care of the cunt. It was like there was some pent up anger. Even the anarchopunks stepped the fuck back a little.
Some crypto-fasc copper was filming all of this, including my beaming, spitting face, probably for “You’ve been Framed”.
But I digress
An interesting development was the wanton use of paint-filled squeezy bottles to paint the faces of the assembled ranks of riot police and horses. How they managed to run away while completely blinded is a testament to the excellent training and discipline of the Met. Personally, and you might not agree, I think this would have been the ideal time for fiery ‘Molotov Lager’ action, but no such was forthcoming.
Anyway, by this time, the crowd at Downing Street was thinning (due to repeated cavalry charges). It onl remained to piss all over the MoD building and move on.
To Trafalgar Square.
Well, actually to a cash machine, KFC and Tescos for a beer buying sortie. Who would have thought smashing the state could be such a draw on the old bank balance?
So, on to Trafalgar Square.
We were quite on for some pills at this point, but our dealer seemed reluctant to venture into that part of london which suffered the highest concentration of police-types for four years – which was fair enough.
We were nevertheless content to watch a human fly scale a significant portion of Nelson’s incomparable Column (much to the chagrin of a collective of crazed anarcho-climbers who chose rope over insanity in their upward ventures).
The sound system was fairly loud, the tunes truly repetitive. I would have love to have heard a few rolling jungle tunes, but you can’t have everything. And all the time, more police surrounded us.
The atmosphere was very good…the full range of disaffected youth was there. For some reason, the inevitable punks set up shop next to the fetid Piss quarter of the square…a socio-economic indicator surely more telling than the Retail Price Index.
There was further fighting. Our heroes, the anarchists, chose bricks. However, I was particularly impressed by one neo-Ghandhi who simply stood eyeball to eyeball with the riot-police, continually jostled by shield and baton alike in some crazed Law and Order Brownian motion. That bloke deserved a medal, so dogged was he in his cheeky resistance to The Evil That Would Rule The Earth.
Yet another band decided to tear up the very furniture of the street in order to smash paving stones. They were however countered by various peace-loving rastas, reasonable socialists, semi-militant lesbians. The paving stones remained intact, and, as a corollary, so did a number of constables’ heads.
There were charges and counter-charges, but the battle was one-sided and somewhat half hearted. I have never seen so many police. The anarchists removed their scarves and shades, dissappearing into the rapidly shrinking crowd. At this point, your loyal narrator decided it was time to abandon the struggle and find a pub.
On reaching Charing Cross, we look somewhat uncertain about the tubes operational status (“is it fucking shut, or what”) – a friendly bobby kindly pointed out that we should “fell free to go”, to which I retorted, quick as a flash “NO! after what happened back their I *Do Not* feel free”… fairly inoffensive
Carlsberg would usually be described as “fairly inoffensive” at the very best, however, I would invite you to picture this for proof that it is truly the best lager in the world:
After a long hot day of trudging through the dust at glasto ‘00, night had finally fallen and the three of us, decided that this was the final time we would walk the two mile-ish journey up the hill, through the gate, down the path and through the field to the car park. Now, with aching calves, bruised shoulders, blistered feet and growing dehydration and hunger, as we neared the end of our ordeal, disaster struck, or so we thought.
One of the crates of cheapy nasty beer we were carrying obviously felt about the same way we did and, at a corner in the path, fell apart and strew its contents across the stony path. Of the twenty-odd beers, about four perished immediately exploding in fountains of foam and creating a small river. We scrambled in abject horror as another ten or so skittered away into hedges. It was only when we‘d collected up the escapees and distributed them back into our bags, that we noticed the casualties of the disaster, three of the cans were slowly expiring, mortally wounded and foaming pathetically in the verge.
It was then, as the three of us stared at them, that the same thought entered each of our minds independantly. This was surely fate; we took one of the cans and sat in the grass, sipping the still cool liquid and watching the glint of light from the fire jugglers in the teepee field.
I’m a photographer and poet who 29 years ago bought the land and money together to create Glastonbury Fayre. I then came back to Worthy farm and helped build the infrastructure the following summer. I accurately predicted that a city would arise on the spot and am glad to say that hippy tat is now the areas main industry.
Now up the road from me at Greenhill camp, in the countryside between Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield, Eco warriors have been camped for nearly 2 years in an attempt to stop the Birmingham north relief road being built. Theres 2 camps separated by a road to a large sand quarry which is to be shut if the road is built. It will be a toll motorway and will accelerate the ribbon development of Birmingham towards Lichfield. recently an eviction notice was served and water to the site has been cut off… could you please use your good offices to inform as many people as possible that the people at the camp desperately need supplies…food, water etc..The site is easily accessible by road, just leave your gifts and go and have a great day in Lichfield, I assure you your journey will not be in vain.
if you love Glastonbury and respect the Glastonbury spirit..please please help…youd make an old hippy and a lot of brave people very happy.
Ps I use the Morse code distress signal, not lightly, the captain of the Titanic hailed from Lichfield as did Johnson and Boswell so dot dot dot dash dash dash dot dot dot, is there anyone out there?