We are pleased to announce that the talented photographer Jonathan Goldberg has published a book which documents life at Grow Heathrow since it’s beginning back in 2010 all the way through to today.
A piece of common land is set to be developed on, which could set a widespread dangerous precedent. Please come and show support to help save Botwell Common and help protect our green belt land across the country.
A public protest has been planned on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon. The meeting point is at the bandstand in Hayes Town centre, next to Botwell Common.
Hillingdon Council, despite widespread opposition, submitted a plan to build a new school on Lake Farm Country Park (Botwell Common), which was approved at a stormy meeting at the council’s planning committee on 5 March 2013.
The council’s justification for building a new school comes from projected estimates of pupil numbers for the next few years. There are three other schools nearby which may be able to increase capacity to handle the expected rise. A former alternative site for a new school (a decommissioned swimming pool) was developed as housing.
John Mcdonnell, MP for Hayes & Harlington is urging people to come together in this crucial time. Resistance to the development of greenbelt land is supported by groups such as ‘Friends of Lake Farm’ and ‘Transition Heathrow’.
See you all at Hayes bandstand, on Saturday 2nd of November at 12 noon.
A major threat to political protests of all kinds is currently being consulted on by the government and hardly anyone knows anything about it.
Under new proposals to cut legal aid further, criminal legal aid will become pretty much non-existent. What the proposals mean is that criminal suspects will lose their rights to choose or dismiss a solicitor, and the number of accredited legal aid firms will drop from 1,600 to less than 400 – raising the inevitable outcome of hundreds of small high street firms being replaced by huge contractors like G4S and Eddie Stobart.
The government have labelled this process by the memorable name of ‘competitive tendering’. In other words, privatisation by offering contracts to whoever can offer the cheapest rate, ie G4S and co. You would be better off representing yourself then being represented by G4S!
Nearly every lawyer in the country, except those working for companies such as G4S, have come out strongly against the proposals including The Law Society and The Criminal Bar Association. However, most people aren’t taking any notice. The lawyers need supporting otherwise by the end of the year the make up and possibility for protests in this country will be seriously undermined.
Alfie Meadows, beaten up by the Police at a student protest would not have been acquitted without criminal legal aid. For Plane Stupid – many of us would probably be in jail by now without proper legal representation.
On Wednesday a demonstration will take place outside Parliament at Old Palace Yard from 10.30am. We urge you to go down there and make your voice heard.
To keep up to date with all the developments and resistance to the plans please visit: http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/
This blog was re-posted from Plane Stupid
Last month while Heathrow villagers were gearing up for their winter holidays Grow Heathrow pounced on the opportunity to spread some environmental gospel.
Free wreath making and a restocked free shop went down a storm at the rather rainy Harmondsworth Christmas market; punters wove Laurel, Ivy, Holly and other foraged foliage to create their circular masterpieces.
At the grand unveiling of Sipson’s first community Christmas tree, roasting and distributing free sweet chestnuts, locally sourced of course, was a tasty treat even John Mcdonell (MP) couldn’t resist. Our warming snacks also delighted many at the Com. Cafe hosted, Mayor’s Carol event, the following week.
Not only does outreach of this kind leave a sweet taste in the mouth, it also encourages local people to think more about where their produce is from. Nature provides a wealth of glorious bounty whatever the season.
On Thursday 13th December, from 7pm in the Five Bells Pub, Harmondsworth; Transition Heathrow have organised a FREE film screening of climate change documentary ‘The Age of Stupid’.
It will be an opportunity to get local community groups together, so we can share what we all are doing, look for collaborations and to think about how our community can become more resilient in the economic and ecological crises. And of course, there will be popcorn on hand too.
Please pass on this call out and poster above, and put the date in your diary. Would be great to see you or a representative from your community group there.
*** The Age of Stupid is a 90-minute film about climate change, set in the future. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devasted world of 2055 …………. Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? ***
The Five Bells Pub is in Harmondsworth. More info here: http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/10/1023/Five_Bells/Harmondsworth
On the far west coast of Ireland in County Mayo, a rebellion is still brewing against plans for a mega gas pipeline project orchestrated by oil giant Shell. Last week two members of Transition Heathrow made a solidarity visit to the local campaign, here is their report.
Within moments of cycling down the road past the Corrib Gas Pipeline site near Rossport, Ireland, we found ourselves being tailed by a security car, while two frantic looking security guards stood alert by one of the entrances into the site. We had not planned any direct action, we were just on our way to the Rossport Solidarity Camp for a short visit.
The camp have packed up for the winter and moved into a house down the road generously donated to them by a local resident. The house is now the main hub for the campaign, where all electricity is powered by a wind turbine and the vegetable garden out front provides food for the campaigners. This was where we arrived and met the 9 or 10 activists who are sticking it out for the winter.
Local resident Pat – who like most people round there has lived in the area all his life, as his family had before him – invited us into his house for some local mackerel and explained to us his reasons for opposing the Pipeline. Probably top of the list is a sense that local people have never been consulted on the plans, despite the enormous implications for life in this once-tranquil corner of the world. Fishing is an essential part of the local culture and economy, and faces devastation by the pipeline as fishermen lose access to waters they have always sailed. Access to the beaches and boglands is also being undermined, with fences being erected along the shoreline where once people went collecting cockles. And to cap it off, Shell has been awarded the right to compulsorily purchase property from locals for its pipeline route – the first time a private body has been awarded this power in Ireland. The traditional and legal rights of locals have been trampled over in the name of private profit.
The technique of gas extraction that Shell is using is experimental, bringing raw, unprocessed gas across the land rather than processing it at sea. If something went badly wrong, people living within a quarter of a mile of the compound would be immediately killed – you can bet Shell didn’t tell anyone that while they were making their case. And their plans for a safety valve rely on technology that by their own admission hasn’t been invented yet.
To add insult to injury, the project will not even benefit the struggling Irish economy. Due to a deal struck in 1987 between the then Prime Minister and a number of oil giants, Ireland gets hardly any of the money generated from the project – endemic political corruption has been blamed for this £600 billion giveaway.
Unity and Divisions
In an inspiring demonstration of community strength, local action has already delayed the pipeline by 12 years. It is so controversial that in 2005, 5 locals went to jail for 94 days after breaching an injuction against protest. But, in moves highly reminiscent of BAA’s treatment of the people of the Heathrow villages, Shell has played the community off against each other in order to weaken the resistance. Their tactic worked to some extent. All the local people we met talked about the “split in the community” that was created by Shell’s dirty tactics. One local even said that without this “split” the campaign would have been won by now.
Instead, Shell are busy at work every day trying to complete the project. They have just got the Bore Hole machine to the site, which will enable the start of the pipeline through the sea to where the gas is. If plans continue at the current rate it is expected they will be reaching the gas by around 2015 – leaving plenty more time for direct action, which continues on a weekly basis. In the time we were there, a roadblock demonstration took place and 5 people were in court from a previous action a few months ago. The resistance continues, and those people we had a chance to chat to were inspiring examples of endurance and strength in the face of corporate greed and destruction backed up by state violence.
- For more information see Shell to Sea campaign website: http://www.shelltosea.com
- Award winning Documentary Pipe Down is also well worth a watch and is free to watch on Vimeo here: http://vimeo.com/8668733
- Visitors to Rossport Solidarity Camp are also very welcome. Directions to the camp house can be found here: http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org/?page_id=23
Grow Heathrow have teamed up with the brilliant local community Com.Cafe to bring you three arts and crafts sessions in the run up to christmas.
‘Crafternoons’ will now be taking place at the Com.Cafe on the following dates: Wednesday 14th Nov, Wed 28th November & Wed 19th December (not 12th December – INCORRECT on poster). See poster above for more information.
Where: The ComCafe, UB7 9JD
Cost: FREE (Contact: email@example.com)
After a whole week on top of the chimney of West Burton Power Station in Nottinghamshire, the last member of “No Dash For Gas” has come down ending the most successful occupation of a UK power station ever.
The group occupied the site in protest at the 20 proposed new gas power stations that the government and Big Energy want to build – one of these being the West Burton site. These new builds will inevitably make Britain dependent on another highly polluting and increasingly expensive fuel for decades to come, throwing efforts to tackle climate change on the scrapheap and causing household energy bills to soar.
For every day that people were up there, they prevented 2371 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to taking 465 cars off the road for a year. Over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 in total.
One of the campaigners who was up the chimney, Anneka said:
“The dash for gas is a direct result of intense lobbying by the Big Six energy companies; and given that gas is such an expensive and volatile commodity, their influence over politicians is going have a huge impact on the poorest people in this country currently living in fuel poverty.”
Writing on the New Internationalist blog, Riley Coles said:
“A carbon-free power system is entirely possible, and we can create it by investing unprecedented funds into energy efficiency. We (can) invest massively in renewable energy, creating hundreds of thousands of green jobs. Britain has enough off-shore wind potential alone to power itself six times over. According to WWF, up to 88 per cent of Britain’s electricity could be renewable by 2030.
We also need to break up the big power corporations and start to treat power generation and distribution as a public good, not a means by which powerful corporations fleece ordinary people. We’re not talking about rolling out a carbon-free electricity system next week – more like 2030 – but if we don’t stop the new dash for gas then it won’t be a reality until it’s far too late to make a difference. We’ll lose decades, but the climate won’t wait for us. When we’ve seen the government mobilize billions of pounds to bail out the banks, you’ve got to ask yourself, where’s the pocket change from that to revolutionize the energy system?”
Sounds very sensible. Sending massive support from Transition Heathrow – we hope you got our tweets from the top of the chimney!
Grow Heathrow, along with other community growing projects in London, have pioneered a boycott of Veolia’s green waste compost.
We made a decision to boycott Veolia’s compost because of the company’s records of human rights breaches in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Russell Tribunal on Palestine advises that’s Veolia’s commercial activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories make Veolia liable for serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
The Russell Tribunal’s advice corresponds to the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion in 2004 that the construction by Israel of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and its associated regime are contrary to international law.
As a community organisation working to build resilient human communities through sustainable food production we feel that buying the products of companies who are liable for violations of human rights and humanitarian law would compromise our core values.
The decision to undertake the compost boycott was made in solidarity with the Palestinian Farmers Union who thanked us for the support and called for further boycotts of companies that profit from the occupation of Palestine.
For more information about the Palestinian Farmers Union and the international boycotts of Veolia see:
the PFU response was
Dear Community Food Growers Network,
Thank you for contacting us and for your support letter.
Just to update you on Veolia BDS campaign success, Veolia is now trying to pull out from all these projects. Last information we had, that they sold Tovlan dump sight but are still involved as consultants to the new buyers. These success want happen without all our friends support.
Regards & Thanks, Dawood
We have just received news that our latest court case, scheduled for next Tuesday October 23rd in the Court of Appeal has been adjourned.
Our solicitors have argued that valuable time for preparing the case was taken up by discussion of the complexities around where funding would come from, and so an extension has been granted to bring the case together. We should be given a new date soon which could be anytime from November 19th. This must mean it’s time to get planting some winter veg.