We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

The Darkness

Posted: October 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Join us for a theatrical play at Grow Heathrow for Halloween. The theme for this year’s production will be the darkness that lives inside of us… and in the forest, as 3 hikers are about to find out…
Deep in the forest….
Does she await….
Your Darkness she’ll find,
And your life……
She’ll take…….
Can you see the light yet…?

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/220783155006823/

We’re hibernating (early)

Posted: October 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

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It’s been a busy summer here at Grow Heathrow – with lots of people coming and going, learning and sharing all kinds of skills and information about sustainability, getting involved in activism, meeting new people… and so much more!

Whilst all this is great, it can be a bit much if you don’t get a rest. So for this reason, we’re taking a break from accepting new volunteers at Grow who want to stay on site. It will be for at least a month, from Oct 19th, but could be more depending on how we feel.

Does this mean we’re ‘closed’? Absolutely not!

Please still come and visit for the day, come to our events, offer workshops, use our space for your own events etc. We’re still here to be used! And if the Government makes a decision about a new runway at Heathrow – we’re still going to be a vital hub of resistance!

We hope this isn’t a pain for anyone planning to come, but ask that people respect this, so that we can keep doing all the things we do, but even better!

Love from Grow Heathrow x


Anti-Airport Action Lab – #staygrounded @Grow Heathrow

Posted: September 17th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

stay-grounded

 

This Saturday the 24th at Grow Heathrow there will be an anti-airport ‘action lab’ – a day of preparation for the #staygrounded actions happening on the 1st October.

GET CLUED UP | TRAINED UP | TEAMED UP | PLAN FOR ACTION

11:00 – 18:00,  Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, UB7 0JH

  • Everything you need to know about the Airport Flashmob & Critical Mass – 1st Oct.
  • Find out about the anti-aviation expansion campaign going on in the UK and abroad.
  • Get skilled up with basic direct action training with bikes or on foot
  • Meet others taking action and form teams
  • Use the collective space to make creative props
  • Put it all together and plan your action!

A one stop shop for an awesome airport experience!

As ever, Grow Heathrow will be cooking up some lunch, but by all means bring a dish to share.

We have guest accommodation with bunk beds that you are free to use, although be aware that you’ll probably be sharing it with a few others. A sleeping bag and a head torch are useful items to bring with you. Bring a tent for your own private sleeping space.

Ring us on 07835012486. Email: info@transitionheathrow.com

Grow Heathrow: http://www.transitionheathrow.com/

Reclaim the Power: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/aviation-flashmob-critical-mass/


BACKGROUND:

Amidst a crazy political maelstrom, expansion plans at London City Airport were given the green light in July. The UK government is now expected to announce plans for a new runway, probably at Heathrow or Gatwick, in October – a decision which hangs in the air like a noose over our heads, and which we know will place the interests of a wealthy minority, and the profits of corrupt corporations, over the lives of ordinary people.

In solidarity with local and international groups, and in defence of climate and social justice all over the world, Reclaim the Power is calling for safe and peaceful action against the aviation industry, with a family-friendly flashmob and critical mass bike bloc at a London airport.

What: 100s of people will create a family-friendly flashmob and Critical Mass bike block Where: A London airport (to be announced) When: Saturday 1st October 2016


Stay Grounded: day of action against airport expansion – Saturday 1st October

Posted: September 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

flashmob-2

After years of delay, the controversial announcement of a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow is expected on the 18th October. It comes just months after the green light was given to expansion at London City Airport, and makes a mockery of our own legally binding commitments for action on climate change. Clearly, more planes mean more catastrophic climate change, whilst our homes, communities and cultural legacy are destroyed. It is time to fight back.

In solidarity with local and international groups, and in defence of the climate and people all over the world, Reclaim the Power is calling for people to take safe and peaceful action against the aviation industry. Join in on a for a family-friendly flashmob and critical mass bike block at a London airport on Saturday 1st October.

As Black Lives Matter activists shut down London City Airport last week, over 400 people have so far pledged to take part in this day of action. The exact location is being kept secret, to keep the authorities on their toes.

All Day Action Labs @ Grow Heathrow – Saturday 24th and Friday 30th September – GET CLUED UP | TRAINED UP | TEAMED UP | PLAN FOR ACTION  – MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON.


WILL YOU JOIN IN IF HUNDREDS OF OTHERS PLEDGE TO COME?

GREAT! Here’s what to do next:

1) Add your email address to the pledge platform here: http://tinyurl.com/jxsxkyf, so that the organisers can let you know more info as it’s revealed. The more people who sign up, the more others will want to join, and the more effective we can be.

2) Get yourself along to one of the info-sharing / legal briefing / action training events at Grow heathrow or The Hive, to ensure you are fully prepared to participate. Details of the events can be found here: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/events/

3) Start thinking about who your affinity group is and what you’re going to bring and wear (see below for suggestions)

4) Join this Facebook event, and share it with all your friend. – ttps://www.facebook.com/events/1764336040473934/

For information from Reclaim the Power on what will be happening on the 1st October, read below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHATS THE PLAN?

This will be a fun, colourful and safe event that everyone is invited to participate in. An action consensus has been agreed to set the safe parameters of this day of action. The health and safety of airport staff, passengers and ourselves are of paramount importance and a top priority, and just in case it is not clear we will not be going on to any runways!

https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/aviation-flashmob-critical-mass/aviation-action-consensus/

Visually and creatively we will focus on the polluting aviation industry, the affluent minority who are driving the so-called ‘need’ for aviation expansion, and the 300,000+ people who are already suffering from the effects climate change, and who are paying the price for this convenient luxury lifestyle, with their lives.

There will be three main ways that people can participate in the day of action, individually and as part of affinity groups that will have autonomy over how they operate.

(1) BLOCK A

will be family-friendly, in a publicly accessible inside area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

  • The “15%” – the minority of ‘flash-the-cash’, ‘binge’ frequent flyers who we know are driving the so-called ‘need’ for airport expansion in the UK

  • The tax man – and the heavy subsidisies to the aviation industry

  • A die-in – representing the 300,000+ people who are already dying each year, all over the world, from climate change related causes

  • Speech & thought bubbles – to convey the key messages in a creative and clever way

  • Red lines – aviation expansion is crossing a red line for a just and liveable planet, and people are paying with their lives (wear red)

(2) BLOCK B

will consist of cyclists, and will be in a publicly accessible outside area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

  • Reimagining the alternatives – what could a future without aviation look like?

(3) Autonomous affinity groups are also invited to take creative action elsewhere, as part of the day of action, adhering to the same action consensus.


Climate crisis is a racist crisis

Posted: September 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Action | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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Shutting down London city airport, UK black lives matter struck another blow for citizens who think they can turn their back on inequality in 2016.

Black Lives Matter UK has campaigned on many facets of how racial inequality today still affects the lives of those born into our prejudice society, most renowned for bringing police violence into the public eye. However, breaking onto city airport’s runway and diverting many flights, Black Lives Matter point out that it is more than just the policemen who have something to answer for, whilst jet-setters exercise privilege, someone else will bear the burden of pollution.

Today’s protest highlights the differentiation is not only reflected through societal markers, police violence, employment or educational statistics- the damage is deeper, the poison is in the air. Literally. Communities that suffer the worst pollution are racialized, black people are 28% more likely to suffer air pollution than their white counterparts. The cleanliness of the air should not correlate with the colour of one’s skin. No one is born with a right to a cleaner neighbourhood than the next child; yet the average salary of a city airport user is £92000, whilst at least 40% of the predominantly black residents in Newham, live under the airport’s smoke cloud and struggle by on less than £20000.

The runway has become a symbol of global inequality compounded by climate change, whilst thousands of refugees are dying in the Mediterranean to escape war, the global elite fly overhead. This is an issue of binaries: whilst the average Brit continues to consume 10.92 tonnes of carbon per year, (and rising,) south pacific islands disappear inch by inch beneath the ebb of the ocean. Mountain- top communities are starved away from their cultural homes and traditional pastures due to radical changes in the climate… all the while in London we keep building and developing, not seeing these things as connected.

Expanding airports, at a time when other people’s lives are irreconcilably damaged or cut short due to climate change is senseless. We owe a lot to individuals who put their bodies on the line to highlight global problems. Today these people are the voices of others who cannot speak for themselves. Yet into the future it is not the responsibility of the brave few to show that Black Lives Matter. It is all of ours.


Mass Action At An Airport Near You!

Posted: September 6th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Action | No Comments »

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Expansion plans at London City Airport have been announced and the government is expected to decide on where to build a new runway, probably at either Heathrow or Gatwick this October. These plans are devastating for local pollution, noise and for climate change.

In solidarity with local and international groups, and in defence of the climate and people all over the world, Reclaim the Power is calling for people to take safe and peaceful action against the aviation industry. Join us for a family-friendly flashmob and critical mass bike block at a London airport on Saturday 1st October.

The exact location is being kept secret, to keep the authorities on their toes – sign up now to receive more information. Our mass action is just one part of a wave of international action planned to take place around the same time of year. In order for this action to be effective, we need at least 400 people to take part. We need to send a strong clear message that we cannot have any new runways in the UK if we are serious about tackling climate change.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ >> WILL YOU JOIN US IF HUNDREDS OF OTHERS PLEDGE TO COME?

GREAT! Here’s what to do next:

1) Add your email address to the pledge platform here: http://tinyurl.com/jxsxkyf, so that we know when we reach our target of 400, and so that we can let you know more info as it’s revealed. The more people who sign up, the more others will want to join, and the more effective we can be.

2) Get yourself along to one of the info-sharing / legal briefing / action training events, to ensure you are fully prepared to participate. Details of the events can be found here: https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/events/

3) Start thinking about who your affinity group is and what you’re going to bring and wear (see below for suggestions)

4) Join this Facebook event, and share it with all your friend.

~~~~~~~~WHATS THE PLAN? ~

This will be a fun, colourful and safe event that everyone is invited to participate in. An action consensus has been agreed to set the safe parameters of this day of action. The health and safety of airport staff, passengers and ourselves are of paramount importance and a top priority, and just in case it is not clear we will not be going on to any runways! https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/aviation-flashmob-critical-mass/aviation-action-consensus/

Visually and creatively we will focus on the polluting aviation industry, the affluent minority who are driving the so-called ‘need’ for aviation expansion, and the 300,000+ people who are already suffering from the effects climate change, and who are paying the price for this convenient luxury lifestyle, with their lives.

There will be three main ways that people can participate in the day of action, individually and as part of affinity groups that will have autonomy over how they operate.

(1) BLOCK A will be family-friendly, in a publicly accessible inside area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

  • The “15%” – the minority of ‘flash-the-cash’, ‘binge’ frequent flyers who we know are driving the so-called ‘need’ for airport expansion in the UK

  • The tax man – and the heavy subsidisies to the aviation industry

  • A die-in – representing the 300,000+ people who are already dying each year, all over the world, from climate change related causes

  • Speech & thought bubbles – to convey the key messages in a creative and clever way

  • Red lines – aviation expansion is crossing a red line for a just and liveable planet, and people are paying with their lives (wear red)

(2) BLOCK B

will consist of cyclists, and will be in a publicly accessible outside area. Creative themes (for dressing up) will be:

  • Reimagining the alternatives – what could a future without aviation look like?

(3) Autonomous affinity groups are also invited to take creative action elsewhere, as part of the day of action, adhering to the same action consensus.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~ WHY AVIATION? WHY NOW? ~

After years of delay, the controversial announcement of a new runway at Gatwick or Heathrow is expected this October. It comes just months after the green light was given to expansion at London City Airport, and makes a mockery of our own legally binding commitments for action on climate change. Clearly, more planes means more catastrophic climate change. It is time to fight back.

Air travel is by far the most carbon-intensive form of transport, and is the fastest growing source of carbon emissions. Yet, climate change is still remarkably absent from any discussion around aviation expansion. Moreover, aviation is unbelievably absent from any discussions, agreements and targets around tackling climate change! It was excluded from the Paris Agreement signed by the World’s nations at the UN COP21 last December, and is even exempt from the UK’s own Climate Change Act 2008. It is an industry that benefits from huge tax subsidies and unprecedented legal and regulatory loopholes, and is threatening the lives of communities both locally and globally, as well as the very planet we all live upon.

More info >>> http://reclaimthepower.org.uk/aviation-flashmob-critical-mass/more-info/


Harvest Festival – Saturday 10th of September

Posted: August 29th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

The summer is fleeting… but we’re still here!

It’s been a lovely summer for those of us here at Grow Heathrow. Our polytunnel has given us a bounty of lush delicious tomatoes, and the brewery has been bubbling away. We’d like to invite you all to our Harvest Festival on Saturday 10th of September, running from 10:30am til late into the evening. During the day we’ll have family fun, fresh food (the pizza oven will be on form), a craft fair, and more; then come evening it’s bonfire and live music time!

 

Grow Heathrow

 

If any of you lovely people out there are makers, we’d love for you to have a table at our craft fair- it’s free, with a £5 suggested donation. You can sell anything you like, as long as it’s handmade, from photographic prints, wood work, crochet, or anything else. If that sounds like something you’d be into- please get in touch with Ru on 07753394600 or ruraynor@gmail.com.

September also means back to school- and we want to restart our workshop programme. Could you help? Past workshops have included pickling, how to subvert advertising, and radical embroidery. We also love to host talks, lectures, discussions, and film nights, so get in touch (info@transitionheathrow.com) with what you’d like to do, and when you’d like to do it. Our workshops work on a donation basis to make them accessible to as many people as possible.

Click here for Facebook event

We hope you’ve had a lovely summer, and that we’ll see you soon. Stay tuned for information on our court date.

peace and love,

Transition Heathrow

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What’s Your Alternative Vision for Heathrow

Posted: June 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Cool Projects, Events, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

 

Alternative VIsions Poster v2

Whats your alternative vision

On Saturday 23rd July, Harts, Transition Heathrow and others are preparing an ‘Alternative Visions’ Launch, 12-6pm in the Sipson Community Centre in Heathrow, UB7 0DD.

There will be a ‘Gallery of Alternatives’ showing the innovative solutions that people are already cultivating in Heathrow and beyond, alongside some delicious food and drink.

This will be followed by an open space session for constructive discussions about developing positive alternatives in to the future, followed by some spectacular performances.

Currently, there are two predominant visions for the future of Heathrow – either the government decides this year that the airport is expanded, or the hotels, car parks and infrastructure serving the existing airport continues – both visions result in the destruction of homes, habitats and communities.

We want your input, skills and wisdom to create an alternative vision for our future.

communityharts@gmail.com


Sat 18 June, 1-4: Wild hogweed asparagus

Posted: June 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

baby common and giant hogweed

Boom! It’s that great tasting hogweed. Never heard of it? You don’t need to hear about it, just eat it. It’s one of our top most delicious wild foods.

Come on, we got another wild food workshop all lined up. We’ll do a little studying, to tell it apart from giant hogweed (heracleum mantegazzianum), which is poisonous to touch. It gives you full on peeling, blistering sunburn to make you feel like a proper Brit on tour in August. Then, onceonce that’s worked up an appetite in you and put you in the mood for food, we’ll steam the flower buds and serve them with butter/margarine and lemon juice.

The thrilling photo above shows young common hogweed (heracleum sphondylium), which is all there on the Grow Heathrow site, in the top left, alongside its poisonous Giant cousin in the bottom right. If you want to swot up beforehand, check out these tidal waves of fact that’ll make you very, very brainy.

So if you want to not have peeling sunburn but to eat something that tastes like asparagus, and let’s face it – who hasn’t been searching for that yin yang combo in life – you can either get some normal asparagus or come to the workshop.


Grow Heathrow’s Spiritual Ecology: One Resident’s Reflections

Posted: June 10th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Spiritual ecology is knowing that we are all part of one living, spiritual being. It is the knowing of the connection of our soul and the soul of the world, the understanding that our fate is entwined with the fate of life on Earth. The rupture of this spiritual connection to the Earth, and the resultant mindset which sees the human experience as separate, viewing nature as something external to our lives that can be controlled or managed, is fundamental in how we are to understand the breakdown of ecological systems around the world.

We must move beyond this thinking; we must move beyond the logic of capital. In this capitalist world system, where private property is enshrined by law over the rights of nature, we should confront the possession of land where we can. Within our spiritual ecology, we must begin to challenge the commodification of nature. This must be central in the “great turning” (Macy 2007) we are to make.

Grow Heathrow came into existence on March 1, 2010, seeking to create an alternative to the hierarchical, ecologically destructive, and oppressive structures that fuel airport expansion in the Heathrow villages. It is on the site of an abandoned market garden, once agricultural land. Our protection of this land, to preserve it for agricultural use, means resistance, resulting in an antagonistic relationship with the landowners and the police. We do not recognise the private ownership of the land we live on.

The original occupiers, members of Transition Heathrow, lived in the Heathrow villages for six months, investing time into building human relationships. They got to know people living in the neighbourhood and attended local resident meetings. There was a patient effort to find out what was needed in the local area. A lack of community spaces was one issue identified. Indeed, the reclamation of the abandoned market garden was a result of considered communication and at the request of local residents. This derelict and abused plot, which served no purpose for the local area, was transformed into a thriving community space.

A project rooted in community participation, Grow Heathrow has since then understood that a vibrant local community willing to fight for its future is our best chance of defeating plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Bringing together the democratic innovation of the Transition Town network and environmental direct activism, this project and our home aspires to offer a viable alternative to the bulldozing of green spaces, houses, lives, and history; to explore anti-capitalism, non-hierarchy, and permaculture; to promote local relationships based on mutual aid and reskilling; and to instill a culture of direct action for those directly affected by expansion plans and beyond.

A third runway at Heathrow would spell the end of community life in the Heathrow villages. Thousands of homes and buildings that escape the brute force of bulldozers will be rendered unlivable. Already, the aiprofiler around us is not fit to breathe. Noise from aircraft, and the motorways which serve them, all amount to the early deaths of our neighbours. A third runway would spew more poison into the air. This is a struggle against an anti-life worldview, one that sees the air we breathe, our land, our homes, and our cultural legacy as profitable, serving economic growth before our health and our communities.

Grow Heathrow asks us to take up the challenge of connecting our economies to the quality of our lives and the future of the environment, and—most concretely and urgently—we hope to raise the alarm alongside those living on the front lines of climate change in the Global South, as well as our neighbours in the Heathrow villages.

Living at Grow Heathrow has been a spiritual experience. We are actively rebelling against the wasted values of materialism, the capitalist worldview which seeks to objectify nature. Viewing the land we live on as sacred means rejecting the old habits of objectifying land, claiming it for an investment or naming it for empire; instead, we attempt to have a relationship with our home amongst the elder trees that surround us.

In this city of London, we see this extractivist mindset in overdrive; land and property too often do not serve the city’s children, families, or communities but are simply banked on, viewed as relatively safe and secure investments. At Grow Heathrow, we do not own the land; it does not belong to us—there is only a relationship with the land, with the elder trees. This is a relationship we are just discovering, and it is one that can nourish us. We are learning how the calendula can heal our skin and how the elderberries can protect us from viruses.

We are more tuned in to the workings of the Earth, the weather, and how they influence our daily activity. Sometimes one experiences this in simple ways, like whether we need to water our plants, or whether we gained enough energy from the wind turbine and solar panel to power tonight’s party. Living here involves developing a greater understanding of Earth’s rhythms. We mark the equinox and solstice with celebration. This is a reminder of our connection with nature, the rhythms of growing food. It is our attempt to honour and give respect to nature.

Whilst we learn organic food production on our occupied land, the objective is not to sustain ourselves solely from the land we live on. Considering the size of the land and the number of mouths to feed, this is neither possible nor our primary aim, but living in a community garden growing organic fruit and vegetables, one becomes more conscious of the health of the soil. And our compost toilets also reaffirm our cyclical relationship with resources; “humanure” is used as a mulch for trees and flowers. Finally, sharing and giving of food is central in bringing people together; this gesture can be conceived as a spiritual component of our community work. Collecting “waste” food from wholesale markets and supermarket bins, we serve it to volunteers, visitors, and workshop attendees.

Nature has a gift economy, and we aspire to replicate it by offering our events and resources for free. One can see this in how an apple tree gives its fruit with unconditional love. We must aspire to provide food, knowledge, festivity, and love without expecting anything in return.

Prefiguring the world we want to see, we attempt to organise non-hierarchically. This means everyone in the group takes on some degree of collective responsibility for the work that needs to be done; there is no greater authority instructing the group to work. Upon my first arrival, I was struck by the community’s ethos of self-management. Values based in mutual aid and cooperation clearly underpinned everyone’s efforts. People worked of their own will, with a shared commitment to a cause we all believed in.

Moving to Grow Heathrow has its challenges for those who have been brought up with modern comforts; heating our homes without burning fossil fuels has been a steep learning curve, and there is still much to learn here. Just as fasting can be a spiritual tool to bring one closer to those without food, being inflicted more acutely by a cold winter snap makes one empathise with those without shelter. This all occurs in the context of a housing crisis in London, with brutal evictions making people homeless. There is a need for land to house people, and we’ve taken in many.

There is also an emphasis on preserving the wildlife that surrounds our self-built dwellings and communal spaces, and so there is a tension between the need for shelter, the need to create infrastructure for a community numbering 40 to 50, and encroaching on wildlife. We have discussions attempting to overcome this issue. In the practise of our democracy, the care and respect for other species is present. But we are still learning—and we will make mistakes.

The strawbale house—constructed with a respect and reverence for nature, using locally sourced, organic materials—could be described as a sacred building, the temple of our community. When meditating in the strawbale house, one cannot erase this memory from the depths of the mind, the memory of love and care that went into the building. The house is surrounded by elder trees, providing homes for a variety of birds, their singing surrounding us as we sit in stillness.

With the sometimes daunting challenge of facing up to corporate greed and state imperialism, meditation can help us find clarity and conviction. We find ourselves in a state of peril, with six degrees of planetary warming a real possibility, spelling the widespread extinction of species on Earth. But if we are not to despair, we must “touch eternity in the present moment, with our in-breath and out-breath” (Nhat Hanh 2012).

If we are to truly acknowledge our intimate relationship between our bodies and the health of the soul of the world, how are we to persist obediently to the norms of modern society that are destroying our health? Understanding this intimate relationship must translate into a fierce love to protect it, a love reaching beyond the legal authority of any state.

It was the impulse of love that led some residents of Grow Heathrow to lock down on Heathrow’s northern runway in July of 2015. Twenty-five flights were cancelled. The group narrowly avoided prison.

The government’s decision on aviation expansion in the southeast of England has been delayed until September of this year. Despite sustained pressure forcing delay after delay, the idea has not been abandoned completely. But this is nonetheless “breathing room for Mother Earth” (Winona LaDuke 2013); we will continue to fight for this breathing room, allowing time for us to awaken from this sleepwalk towards ecocide.

We must protect nature. We must protect ourselves. The love we have for each other and life on Earth must result in a fierce resolve to protect us. Sometimes we will have to act in a way which sacrifices our legal rights for the rights of other humans, for other life to flourish. We must embrace an antinomian spiritual ecology, whereby our ecological responsibility demands a rejection of civil legal authorities and their laws. With a spiritual ecology, this act no longer is sacrificial, but a self-interested act; an eroding detached ego-self making way for an identity as one with nature. In our movements we can garner great strength and resilience with this understanding of oneness.

One indicator that the Earth is degrading is the lack of empathy and love for those most vulnerable in society. This is a cause anyone concerned with our spiritual awakening should engage in. We can measure the greatness of a society by how it treats those most poor and marginalised. This is why we must wed any ecological resistance to struggles against austerity and the oppressive, egotistical ideology which serves it. Struggles against patriarchy, racism, and colonialism cannot be detached from our spiritual work. If we begin not to care for our own kind, how will we develop empathy for life as a whole? A lack of empathy for humankind is a signpost for the degradation of our ecology.

The change that is required of us to more fully awaken ecologically cannot come from a top down approach. The change we need cannot come from government alone. We depend on all of us, individually and in communities, to make self-determination the centre of our activity and weaken the tyrant of capital that enchains us.

We must no longer prop up capital, or any power structures which oppress human beings or exploit life on Earth. Our driving momentum is not to convince those in power to change their direction. It is often very tempting to be lured into the logic of the state and its power. Instead we hope to transcend the logic of party politics and enhance a DIY culture, encouraging others to take their lives into their own hands.

We must engage with experiences that teach us how to commune together, how to live together as an interdependent community. There are emotional resources and wisdom one can acquire from living communally, or in Grow Heathrow’s case, living in a squatted eco-community. This experience, that is both taxing and enriching, can help us develop the kind of compassion we will need to embrace each other in the wider society and ecology.

Part of our project as spiritual ecologists is to undermine the political narrative that justifies our exploitative economy, the ideology that believes we cannot act as “we” but only as self-centred individuals. This notion has to be undermined. We must be part of a political project which demonstrates that human beings can and are motivated by far nobler causes than financial gain: mutual aid, cooperation, care, and compassion for humans and other beings.

We must reawaken the identity whiForage-02 (1)ch wishes to respect the ancient soul of the world and ensure that this life-giving force prevails over the competitive, industrialist psyche that has dominated capitalist economic production. We can hope that the struggle against corporate interests and the state can reinvigorate our spirit, allowing us to become more centred to the needs of the global ecology within our political framework. We can hope that by mobilising in solidarity against the objectification of nature, we can grow a greater ecological awareness amongst humanity.

This vision of the world is against any idea of a totality, but rather a future of alternative post-capitalist worlds. The drive towards self-determination for those of us at Grow Heathrow living amongst the elder is exploratory, drawing inspiration form the Zapatista principle “preguntando caminamos” (asking, we walk). We don’t have all the answers. We are still learning and always will be. Employing horizontal structures using consensus decision-making, we acknowledge our democracy is a dynamic, evolving process, always to be worked and reworked, always ready to accept it if we’ve taken the wrong direction.

Let us be open to adventure; if we are afraid of struggle and pain, we will miss the joys that life has to offer. Perhaps we can lead in searching for hope in the dark night; better to step out into the unknown and take the wrong direction than not to walk at all. And let us be attentive explorers, for those who view the universe with dimness and a lack of attention will not be shown its true nature and complexity.

Everything we achieve at Grow Heathrow is only with the comradery of inspiring and trusted allies and friends. Living here has demanded much of us, trials that have touched our whole humanity. I am continually moved and inspired by the individuals who live here. They have taken a spiritual step, for they have recognised the emptiness of materialism, how the pursuit of financial gain bankrupts the soul. By moving to Grow Heathrow, they have placed greater importance on human bonds and the need to take care of human beings and nature. This is a step that I admire in everyone.

This land inhabited by the elder, one of our native trees, cherished for healing and nourishment, provides a spiritual protection for humans and nature alike. Much like the interconnectedness of life on Earth, our words and our creative doing are interwoven with their being; an eviction would spell the same fate for our community and the elder. For now, the elder are flourishing, growing through the remnants of derelict structures—inspiration for how we must search for light amongst the rubble of capitalism.

We can be certain of nothing, but we can have hope. Sometimes the universe does feel harsh and indifferent, but Grow Heathrow offers hope by asking us to recognise the interconnectedness of all beings—to reveal life in all its forms and the connecting energy that drives them, which is, of course, love.

transitionheathrow.com

info@transitionheathrow.com

References

Laduke, W. 2013. In the Time of the Sacred Places. In: L. Vaughan-Lee, ed. Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth. Point Reyes: The Golden Sufi Center.

Macy, J. 2007. The Great Turning. Berkeley: Centre for Ecoliteracy.

Nhat Hanh, T. 2012. Thich Nhat Hanh: in 100 years there may be no more humans on planet earth [online]. Available from: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1291786/thich_nhat_hanh_in_100_years_there_may_be_no_more_humans_on_planet_earth.html.