On Friday 15th August at 8am, bailiffs will make their first attempt to evict Grow Heathrow. Four and a half years after the abandoned greenhouses in the middle of Heathrow Airport’s proposed third runway were occupied by local residents together with activists, Heathrow villagers are organising again to resist airport expansion that’s ruled out by climate science.
Residents of the 700+ homes a third runway would destroy have asked to be trained to protect their own homes. On Thursday 14th, the day before the bailiffs visit, there will be talks and workshops on how to peacefully resist the eviction and on how ordinary people successfully shelved plans for a noisy third runway. At 8am on Friday 15th, hopefully you can help protect our home from the County Court bailiffs, ready to do the same for other homes threatened by airport expansion. Grow Heathrow has been described as the ‘heart of the village’ by BBC News and ‘inspirational’ by the local MP. We are still trying to buy the land instead of having bailiffs at our home.
We need your support in the days before, on the 15th and in the months after the bailiffs come. Join us for dinner on the 14th and be on site for when they arrive. Bring a sleeping bag, tent and rollmat if you’re coming to stay, cameras or smartphones for filming/livestreaming the bailiffs and we can always use more tea, coffee, milk, sugar and mugs! We currently also have some space for new members, so if growing food and campaigning on airport expansion are your cup of tea come and find out more about how you can volunteer here long-term. Summer in the glasshouses is green and glorious with a lake down the road.
If you have any special requirements, just drop us an email and we’ll do our best to make you comfortable. If and when the bailiffs go home, there’ll be a coach heading to to the Reclaim the Power action helping protect Blackpool from fracking. (donations welcome).
In October 2009 before he became Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts,” Within 30 months of taking power he set up a Commission widely expected to recommend airport expansion after his manifesto pledge runs out next year.
On Wednesday 18th June, more than 800 people packed into the Richmond Theatre to watch and judge the best viral films reminding Mr Cameron of his promise, and pressing the case against Heathrow expansion.
The No Ifs No Buts Film Competition staged by Zac Goldsmith MP in conjunction with the campaign group HACAN attracted well over 50 videos. Fifteen were shown at the event on 18th June.
In First Place: the residents’ film
In Second Place: the film beyond words
In Third Place: the comedy film
The 12 runners up are well worth watching.
Living in broken rotting greenhouses has its perks.
What plant books flatteringly call ‘wasteland species’ may not have the looks but as we like to say here, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And autumn is coming up, with our Garden of Eden maze of elderberries and blackberries. There’s even a volunteer from abroad staying at Grow Heathrow at the moment who despite getting to know all of us, the site and what we do there has privately admitted she’s now really there for the blackberries; after they finish she might be off to somewhere else.
On Friday 18th July, from 1pm to 4 we’ll be pickling green elderberries. We pickled loads of ripe and less ripe purple elderberries last year but they just weren’t amazing – they taste a lot of vinegar and a little bit of that rich, slightly unpleasant ‘elder smell’ that you get when you crush elder leaves. You can try them if you come round (no need to thank us). But the green ones we pickled got gobbled up with chips as comfort food in the dark winter – crunchier and less strong. So this year we know how to prepare to liven those winter moments when there’s ten men sat around the old wood burning stove and someone brings out a guitar with four strings and delights in another repeat singing ‘Wagon Wheel’. Green pickled elderberries for hot chips (and daal)! (You can also check out the Urban Harvest info on eating elderberries)
If you want to join the party, be there.
Dates for your diary: get involved to stop fracking in the UK
19 – 20 July, Nottingham: Build the site! Making radical spaces happen from the ground up is a big job, but it needn’t be a mystery. So we are dedicating part of this gathering to site training! There will be something for everyone, with all levels of knowledge and mobility.
14-20 August, Location TBA: Action camp
Take on the frackers! The action camp will be at a fracking site and to keep the industry in suspense, the exact location and travel information will be revealed near the time. Hunt the Facebook event page for clues as they are revealed…
*Support the community fightback
*Get skilled up and take direct action
*Build the world you want to see
What? - This year the target is fracking – a form of ‘extreme energy’ that threatens our human rights to a safe climate, clean water and a healthy local environment. - New fracking sites are being opened across the country every month. Up to 60% of England is under threat - Reclaim the Power will support a community on the frontline fighting fracking and join the dots between climate, social and economic justice - Alternatives exist here and now – we could create a million climate jobs, reduce energy demand and convert to community and publicly owned renewables
Why? - We need to reclaim OUR power. The government wants to drill under our homes, keep us hooked on fossil fuels and keep our energy in private, profiteering hands. - Meanwhile, climate change is getting worse, fuel poverty is killing people and economic and social crises are hitting us harder every day - We can stop this. We can stop fracking and build a democratic and clean energy system that works for us. The UK has a long history of civil disobedience, from the suffragettes to the disability rights movements.
How? - We’ll share skills, meet friends, participate in workshops and take mass civil disobedience.
Get involved and get inspired – let’s take on the frackers and win!
2 Workshops with Starhawk, Aug 2&3, London UK
How do we bring magic and myth into the actions that address the crisis of our time? How do we take our spiritual work out into the world in embodied, compassionate, and active ways? Two linked but separate workshops will explore skills and techniques that can help us. This will be an exciting weekend bringing together skills relevant to social permaculture, inner transition and magic, to help us enrich our work and our communities. We look forward to seeing you there.
Making Rituals That Matter: Day 1, Saturday 2 August, 9.30am – 5.30pm
On this first day, we’ll explore tools to help us create rituals that can bridge barriers, inspire and support social change, and help us heal and renew our hope when things get tough. We’ll learn how to listen deeply to the needs in our homes, workplaces and communities, how to craft intentions that lead to powerful magic, and how to create inclusive, empowering ritual language. We’ll explore the many voices we can use to honour and invoke our allies in healing and transformation, and play on the edges where story, drama and ceremony meet. Together we’ll co-create a ritual for Lammas / Lughnasadh, the ancient feast of the first harvest. There will also be informal space within this workshop for networking and sharing ideas and plans.
Lammas Ritual: Saturday evening 7.30pm, open to all, free
Making Rituals that Matter: Day 2, Sunday 3 August 9.30am – 5.30pm
This second workshop will go deeper into the skills and techniques of ritual—story, song, meditation, energy-work and trance. We’ll explore ways to create a powerful emotional arc, evoke ecstasy and catharsis, and shift consciousness. Activism can be tough and traumatic—just living in these times of challenge and intense transformation can be traumatic! But when we face the pain, ritual can help us transform it. We can become more skillful healers for ourselves and one another, and generate the strength and inspiration we need as we work for liberation and justice.
Venue: Transition Heathrow, London
See link for further info re venue: http://www.transitionheathrow.com/grow-heathrow/ Camping overnight on Friday and Saturday available in return for a donation to our hosts.
Cost: Sliding scale from £25 to £75 per day, lunch included. Our intention is to make this work available to all, regardless of financial situation, so please get in touch if you cannot afford this much, and we’ll see what we can arrange. Energy exchange (helping with organising, washing up etc) also possible. Please send Paypal payment to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Include details of which workshop/s you are booking. 0r email to arrange other payment options.
Enquiries etc: 07752 660177
It’s Artsweek next week, so we’ll be hosting a jam on Thursday the 29th of May in our newly complete straw-bale house. Bring your friends!
We’ve got a piano (little outta tune) and a drum kit.
ALL ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTS WELCOME!
……and all levels of musician too!
We’ll probably do some 10 minute improvisations, have some time for some sing along type songs, and maybe one or two continuous long jammmmmmmmmms
We’ll start around 7.30/8pm but come down for dinner beforehand if you want.
Be great to have you along. Please let us know if you are coming. And there’ll be a bonfire too.
April was a loads of fun; 30 of us came down and learnt how to identify the mustard family (brassicaceae), which has no poisonous plants, as well as the springtime linden (tilia spp.) leaves that are offering massive free salads all over London. We also spent some time considering the risks of foraging, codes of conduct and the law. A big thank you to everyone who came, all inspiringly enthusiastic, and also to our favourite photographer Jonathan Goldberg for these kickass snaps.
Now it’s May, the first few hogweed (heracleum sphondylium) flowers are just beginning to bud. Our site is covered in hogweed, having been derelict and neglected for so long, which means we’re able to steam pots full of dozens of hogweed flower buds every day in summer. Like an abundant wild asparagus, it’s gobbled up. And even if we didn’t live in a sea of it, it’s handy that each plant will live an extra year if all of its flowers are harvested.
But hogweed is part of the carrot family (apiaceae), which contains deadly poisonous species. Many people have heard of one cousin of the carrot, toxic giant hogweed (heracleum mantegazzianum), for the extreme sunburn rashes it causes when touched. The rashes can become scars that last years, and there’s plenty of giant hogweed growing along Cranford Lane as well as the Grand Union canal west of West Drayton.
We’ll start the workshop off with some very civilised nibbles – hogweed stems with hummus: they’re like a refreshing, slightly citrussy celery. We’ll learn how to tell the difference between toxic giant hogweed and edible common hogweed, as well as how to look for warning signs that wild plants may be in the dangerous carrot family. There’ll be some fun activities in pairs and groups to recap the day as well as handouts to take home. All that brain strain will be rewarded with a hike round the site harvesting, and then steaming the goods.
You’ll need to book in advance to be able to take part as this Month the workshop will have a cap of 12 foragers to be able to move quickly and fit all of our activities in. The suggested donation for the workshop is £8 for people on high or average wages and £3 for low waged and unwaged people. All donations go 100% to Grow Heathrow, paying for bike workshop tools, rice and bog roll. If money’s not ideal, you can donate your time washing up
Book by leaving a comment here with your first name, which should take 10 seconds. If you don’t have internet access then just let a resident know your name face to face or on the phone. You can also check out our travel info and videos about the site.
I’ve been enjoying a couple of foragers’ web pages a lot recently, Chester-based Eden Wild Food and London-based Ipso-phyto. They’ve got fantastic seasonal photos of local wild food, so check them out if you like the sound of that. They also both offer guided walks and workshops.
As part of the Radical Housing Network, we’re pleased to announce…
The Housing Weekender, 2014
The Weekender is on the 26th and 27th April. It’s a collaboration among groups from across London, who work on a whole range of housing issues including private renting, access to welfare, squatting, co-operatives and social housing.
Please Note: All events are FREE and no booking required
DAY ONE: Saturday 26th April
Events happening across London.Click here for FULL SCHEDULE
NORTH WEST LONDON
INEQUALITY BUS TOUR
The Housing Inequality Bus Tour is coming to you! OUR CITY IS FOR LIVING IN A HOME IS YOUR RIGHT We are bringing: Music////Refreshments/// Useful information that can help with your housing problems///// Hop on the bus to find out more about what is causing London’s housing crisis and what we are doing about it. The Google Map route of the Bus Tour.
Haringey Housing Action Group (HHAG) will be hosting their monthly meeting Sat 26th April ///// 10am-12 midday ///// North London Community House, N17
Our Tottenham and Haringey Private Tenants Action Group (HPTAG) will be holding an info stall in Tottenham (opposite Bruce Grove Station, on the high road) between 1pm-2pm to give out information about the Our Tottenham Network and all campaigns to improve housing and support people to set up action groups in threatened estates in the area.
Saturday 26th April///// 12-1pm ////Hackney Town Hall
Join Digs and tell the council the private rented sector needs to change.
We will be sharing and listening to stories, playing renter bingo and presenting our dossier of stories to the council – come and meet councillors and tell them your story.
Over the last months Digs has been collecting tales of renting in Hackney. We will be presenting these stories to the council so they can’t claim ignorance on these issues, and we’ll be demanding longer tenancies and council action on profiteering landlords.
A night of films celebrating the struggle for decent housing in our communities
7.30pm til late, Saturday 26 April ///// St. Matthew’s Tenants Hall, 10 St. Matthew’s Rd, SW2 1NH/////Drinks and other refreshments will be available
We’ll be showing a series of short films which give an insight into housing activism, past and present, and provide acknowledgment and encouragement both to those who are precariously housed and those fighting to combat this social ill. They will include contemporary projects, such as the campaign to save and expand social housing in Cressingham Gardens, and inspirational examples from recent history, such as the co-operative living spaces established by the Brixton Faeries in the 1970s.
Happening in New Cross, Southeast London. For full programme click through to New Cross Programme page
Library: New Cross Learning, 283 – 285 New Cross Road, SE14 6AS
- 2pm – 3pm: Various Housing Shorts [FILM]
- 3pm – 4pm: Despite the City (1988) [FILM]
- 4pm – 5pm: SE London Co-ops Forum Presents: How Can Local Politicians Help Co-operatives Solve the Housing Crisis? [DEBATE]
- 6pm – 9pm: Grasp the Nettle (2013) [FILM]
Cafe: Café Crema, 306 New Cross Rd, London SE14 6AF
- 1pm – 2pm: Jon Glackin: Street Homelessness [SPEAKER]
- 2pm – 3pm: Owen Hatherley – Urban Blight [SPEAKER]
- 3pm – 4pm: Jon Broome – Self-Build [SPEAKER]
- 4pm – 6pm: Give Us Space (2014) [FILM]
- 6pm – 8pm: Housing Hangout Space, light entertainment and drinks
DAY TWO: Sunday 27th April
33-37 MORELAND STREET, EC1V 8BB
11-12.15: Media Training
Lots of groups find that engagement with the mainstream media is a useful way to further their aims, but not everyone is confident in dealing with journalists to get the best results. It would be great to see more housing groups getting their voices heard. This practical training session will be led by Joe and Theo, who have been part of various grassroots campaigns including the Plane Stupid campaign against aviation expansion, and the Squash campaign against the criminalisation of squatting.
MIPIM is the world’s biggest property fair, where our cities and communities are bought and sold. It brings together developers, speculators and politicians for a week of back-scratching and champagne. The Radical Housing Network is part of a cross-European network organising opposition to MIPIM. In October, a special UK event will take place in London. Come along to find out more, and plan for action in the coming year.
Ever thought about setting up a housing co-op? Or maybe building your own home? Or perhaps you would like to know more about Community Land Trusts and other means of community engagement with local planning and property ownership? This session will look at ways that people are working within and outside the broken housing system to find alternative ways of gaining control over their housing and getting the homes they want and need.
We will be joined by Jon Broome, a leading self-build architect who worked with Walter Segal; Rob Morris, co-founder of the Drive co-op in North London and active member of Radical Routes; and London Community Neighbourhood Co-op, an ambitious a live/work/community space in Westminster based on sustainability, affordability and accessibility.
12.30-4.45: Action planning and preparation
Throughout the afternoon, we will be planning and preparing for a housing action in the near future. Come with ideas, energy, cardboard boxes, and maybe some for sale signs?
2.15: Understanding the Crisis
Danny Dorling is Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford. His recent book, All That Is Solid (2014), argues that the solution to the housing crisis lies not in the construction of more homes, but in addressing the root cause: inequality.
Liz Davies is a housing lawyer and Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. She is particularly interested in homelessness and social housing allocations, and is co-author of Housing Allocation and Homelessness (2012).
Join us to look at the causes of the housing crisis and start thinking about some of the solutions.
2.30-4.30: Law surgery and advice training
The first part of this session will be a workshop on homelessness and eviction, looking and where and how to seek legal help when facing these issues. It will be equally useful for people who would like to be able to give advice and support, and those actually facing these problems right now.
The second part of the session will be an open law surgery – so if you have questions around housing and homelessness that need a lawyer’s thoughts, come along.
3.45: Organising and Action
Defend Council Housing, London Renters, Squatters Legal Network and Lambeth Housing Activists will discuss their diverse tactics and experiences of organising in the face of the housing crisis. Together with the other groups in attendance we will think about how we can better organise across tenure and locality to develop a join-up opposition to housing injustice, and what kinds of organising and action work best for us.
This will provide an opportunity to share the events of the weekend, including the Saturday events in Hackney, Haringey, Lambeth, New Cross, and Barnet, as well as the sessions throughout the day on Sunday. In particular, we we hear the plans and proposals for action, and feedback on how we can move forward together.
In New Cross:
Little Homes////Children and families event Time: 2-6 pm//// Location: Sanford Housing Coop (House Zero), Sanford Walk, SE14 6 NB Creative workshop for children and families exploring alternative housing solutions. Children will build and decorate their own houses using cardboard and colours. The workshop is run by some of the Sanford Housing-Coop members and members of We Love Cardboard.
If you have thought of volunteering in the park, now is the time! Just turn up at one of Cranford Park Friends’ monthly sessions, meeting at the Secret Garden beside the Stables, on the second Sunday of each month… the next session is this coming Sunday April 13 at 10am (see below). No experience or tools are required.
Some other event highlights for the coming months are listed below. Other news in brief:
Repairs to the Stable Block roof, weatherproofing and ivy removal have been completed by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s contractor. So the building is weatherproof at last. Unfortunately there was a break-in in the early hours of March 9, the doors were damaged and some of our tools stolen. If you have spare garden tools you could donate to fill the gap, please contact the Secretary.
Towards a Lottery bid. LB Hillingdon has shown great faith in our group’s achievements by ring-fencing £25k to fund a Feasibility Study, the first step towards a Heritage Lottery Fund grant application. It has been declared a Hillingdon Improvement Project, for the buildings and park. Winning a Lottery grant will be a long and complicated job but success could mean wonderful enhancements, of benefit to the whole community. A Steering Group has been set up and the Friends are well represented on it. We hope you will be able to help us – more details in due course.
CRANFORD PARK EVENTS 2014 All events except *are free. Address: The Parkway (A312), Hounslow, TW5 9RZ.
Sunday 13 April, 10am – 12 noon. Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. Help us prepare the garden for summer. Refreshments will be served to volunteers. The garden will open at the same time on the second Sunday of each month (11 May, 8 June etc.). The entrance is adjacent to the stable courtyard.
Saturday 26 April, 11am. Bluebell Walk. Join Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley for a guided walk through the bluebell woods. Meet at information centre.
Sunday May 11, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. *See above.
Saturday May 17, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’ History Tour. A 90-minute guided history walk around Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.
Thursday May 22, 7.30pm. Cranford Park Friends’ Quarterly Meeting. Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way, Harlington (off Cranford Drive, bus E6). All welcome.
Sunday June 8, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering/Balsam Bash. *See above. On the river we join the River Crane-wide event removing Himalayan Balsam, a highly invasive plant along the river. Please wear long trousers and long sleeve shirts.
Sunday June 22, 11am – 4pm. Grand Union Canal Boat Trip on the Elsdale. *(Members of *Cranford Park Friends and families only; booking essential). Departs from and returns to Packet Boat Marina, Packet Boat Lane, Cowley UB8 2JJ. A leisurely cruise and social event for members and their families. Free (donation of £3 suggested). Please bring a packed lunch. Licensed bar also serving hot and soft drinks. On-board toilets. Includes short talk on canal history, and local wildlife. Places limited, please book with Dhush Selvarajah, tel. 077180 43105, email email@example.com.
Saturday June 28, 11am. Butterfly Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer for a guided walk looking at the many species of butterfly found in Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.
Saturday August 2. Cranford Park Remembers. A friendly day for all the family with a medieval encampment, a memory wall where you can leave your park memories, activities for kiddies and more. The 18th century Stables and St. Dunstan’s Church will be open; tea garden refreshments. Details to follow nearer the date. Volunteers will be needed well in advance.
Saturday/Sunday September 20 and 21.* Open House London 2014.* Cranford Stables & Secret Garden and St Dunstan’s Church open. Members of the Friends’ History & Conservation working party will be in attendance.
Saturday/Sunday September 27 and 28, 3pm. *W*heat to War 1780-1918.*Celebrate local life in this hour-long outdoor spectacular for the whole family. Outline Theatre performs popular songs, dance and drama. A moving tribute to our local Great War Heroes, marking the centenary of World War I. Tickets £4 or 4 for £14, Under 5′s free; book online at www.outlinetheatre.co.uk. Box Office, tel. 01895 851936.