Points of interest in traveller / festival history

This was the brief I originally submitted to the BBC, regarding the BBCfour program, just been shown last week.


Motives: to look for alternatives to ‘modern life’. Thoughts of sustainability, damage of modern society to environment. Thoughts of the Hopi Indian prophecies. To, ‘tread lightly on the land’. Nomadism Vs Settlement and agriculture. Farmers Vs Hunter-gatherers. A tension, back to the stone age. City life, disconnected from ‘reality’, Psychologists talk of alienation. We try to combat this with changes to lifestyle. So, ‘ways of being,’ sustainability psychology, sustainable environment. Simply experiments in life. Wanting to live and associate with those that you want to, not neighbours you hate / or hate you 🙂

None of this is an easy alternative or ‘dropping-out’. It is very ‘front-line’, dropping right in it !!

1. Windsor / festival Land-rights [peoples free festival august bank holiday] 1972-4

Development from the Hyde Park Diggers, London Squatting Movement. Early free festivals, Fun. Thames Valley Police Attack in August 1974.

2. Stonehenge [now the new Peoples Free Festival [summer solstice]

superseded Windsor 1972-4 – 1984

‘Annual General’ meeting, when the rest of the calendar of events, got made up and discussed.

[some say one reason for the opposition to the Stonehenge festival was because of the risk of interference with the deployment of the Cruise Missile convoys from Greenham and Molesworth. Cruisewatch]

3. Greenham Common. RAF station for deployment of Cruise Missiles. Media invention of the ‘Peace Convoy’. Travelled there from Stonehenge. Plug into the existing peace camp.June1982.

4. Molesworth Peace Camp RAF station for deployment of Cruise Missiles. up to Feb 1985.

Field Marshal Hesltine and evictions

5. Battle of the Beanfield. Operation Solstice. Hants / wilts border. Legal cloak of High Court Injunction. 1st June 1985

6. Stoney Cross. Operation Daybreak. Re-run of the previous year, across 7 counties, much stress, but with less violence [police watched with much media interest]. Medieval Brigands speech. Setting for Section 39 Public Order Act 1986. [enacted April 1987]. Now Criminal Trespass. “If three people bring 12 vehicle on land, for the common purpose of residing there, then they commit and offence”.

7. Free Parties 1988 onward. section 39 was about ‘common purpose of residing’ What If they don’t stay long enough for the criminal trespass to take effect, but move after a night. Hence now a nocturnal activity.

8. Caslemorton Common. 1992 [and four similar events within weeks in that area]. Michael .Howard [bless him], now thinks of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Operation Snapshot, vast increase in Surveillance. Strengthen POA 86, and now include music style, repetitive beats etc…

9. Enviro protests: Twyford , Newbury, Birmingham Roads, Manchester Airport etc

10. Traveller and modern trav / ravers / free party person, now leave country in large numbers 1995. European countries enact similar laws, to offset people reason to leave UK >>

11. Reclaim The Streets [RTS] in cities invented, to out-manoeuvre rural road blocks. and still be able to gather. 1996 onwards

12. Anti-social behaviour Act 2003. + ‘Gathering’ of more than two. Terrorism Act 2000

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