Posted: September 7th, 2016 | Author: George | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, black lives matter, climate change, direct action | No Comments »
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.
Posted: October 17th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: art, climate change, community, Residents, resistance, Squatting, sustainability | No Comments »
Harts Residency – A process of Unlearning
You are invited to take part in a creative and nourishing residential experience at community project Grow Heathrow.
Friday 13th – Sunday 22nd of November
** RSVP by Monday 26th October **
What will be involved:
Collective living, sharing skills, space to develop personal work, collaborative creativity, inner reflection, long term sustainability, nature, supporting the Grow Heathrow community and surrounding Heathrow villages.
The residency will include some workshops, (eg. Permaculture, using art to create social change) morning and evening sessions to share, reflect and develop ideas, a final project in the wider community and space for people to shape the structure themselves.
Food, sleeping space, facilities, workshop space and materials will be provided. There will also be regular integrated but optional wellbeing sessions such as yoga, meditation and massage. Participants will be involved in the tasks that make daily living at Grow Heathrow possible.
From visual art or performance, to social sculpture, or learning the deep art of making perfect compost from our poo, any range of artistic practice is welcomed, as long as it is aligned to the aims of the project.
Participants are asked to make a contribution to help make all of this possible. Suggested donation £20 to £40 for the 10 days but you are invited to pay less or more, depending on what you can afford.
Where will the residency be held:
The residency will be based at Grow Heathrow, a squatted land project, run off-grid from renewable energy with activities such as food growing, bike mechanics and inner wellbeing.
Grow Heathrow is set up in support of local community, which is heavily impacted by the airport and the threat of its expansion.
Participants will sleep in a communal guest cabin, there is also an option of bringing a tent if you prefer.
Although the residency will be based at Grow Heathrow, partiicpants are encouraged to develop ideas that also connect with the wider village and community.
When will the residency be held:
The residency will last 10 days (13th-22nd Nov) and participants are invited to come for the duration.
If you cannot come for this long, you are welcome to join from Friday 19th to Sunday 22nd November for the final community based project.
If you are interested, RSVP by phone or email, and include an explanation about what you think this experience can bring for you and what you can offer the rest of the group, Grow Heathrow and the wider Heathrow villages, (no longer than half an a4 page).
Please express interest by Monday 26th October
Posted: May 26th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action, Art, Cool Projects, Education | Tags: activism, art, climate change, community, Residents, resistance, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
HARTS (Heathrow arts project) is launching a series of community murals on Friday 29th May as the last stop on the ‘Flag it Up’ parade’. The parade will begin at 11am in Harmondsworth; the village which faces almost complete demolition should a 3rd runway at Heathrow Airport be granted by the Government.
Hundreds of children living in the Heathrow villages have made flags based around the theme of ‘home’, that will be displayed on the lamp-posts, to combat the physical and social blight from the airport and the threat of its expansions and demonstrate the future that is strived for by the people of Heathrow.
The flag parade will start by St Mary’s church in Harmondsworth with activities 11am-12pm, walking to Sipson between 12-1pm, lunch at Grow Heathrow 1-2pm, (UB7 0JH), walking to Harlington between 2-3pm and finishing under the mural at Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Church Hall with tea, music and activities, 3-4pm.
The date coincides with the final day of consultation of Airports Commissions air quality assessment and the mass action camp ‘Reclaim the Power’, where people are highlighting the need, from many different angles, for the UK to cut emissions, reduce reliance on dirty energy and create a more just society.
The ‘Flag it Up!’ parade and the community murals are part of a series of community-led arts projects in the Heathrow villages. Other projects involve landscape art, film and social sculpture. Harts is looking for artists to come to the Heathrow villages to develop projects with the community over 2015, so if you can help get in touch at:
day time phone: o7512 320856
For more info, also see the Community HARTS website: communityharts.org
Posted: December 13th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, climate change, coal, solidarity | No Comments »
Responding to a recent call out, Grow Heathrow sent wishes of solidarity to Hambacher Forest on Thursday.
Hambacher Forest is a camp comprising four occupations in the Rhineland of Germany, which is protesting against the expansion of one of the largest opencast brown coal mines. The mine is a disaster, not only in terms of the impact on the climate from this dirty fossil fuel, but also for the local residents of the nearby villages that would be destroyed to make way for the mine’s expansion. In addition the natural ecosystem would be totally devastated.
In recent weeks activists in Hambacher Forest have been carrying out a number of actions against the felling of this ancient forest. There have been a number of arrests and one of the tree-occupations was evicted at the beginning of December.
You can find more information about the occupation and the recent actions at Hambacher Forest’s website.
Grow Heathrow wishes to show support for the continued struggles in Hambacher.
Love and Solidarity
Posted: August 15th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Action, legal | Tags: activism, climate change, community, direct action, resistance, sipson, Squatting, sustainability, transition | 2 Comments »
WE DID IT, TOGETHER WE RESISTED AN EVICTION TODAY!
everyone who helped resist the eviction at Grow Heathrow, the chefs, live band, bike powered smoothie makers, seed sowers, climbers, people locked on, Jonathan Goldberg for photos, organisers and more…
Unfortunately this is not the end…
The Bailiffs may return any day without warning…
to try and evict Grow Heathrow once more… we will need to come together again for this…Email us your phone number if you want to be part of the phone tree or join the mailing list on the website:
Come down and visit, stay and help the site run
Check out some of the national news stories from today:
BBC, Guardian, London Live, Get West London, and more…
Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Author: Lizzie | Filed under: Action, Energy, Events | Tags: activism, climate change, direct action, fracking, no dash for gas, peak oil | No Comments »
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.
More details at nodashforgas.org.uk, @nodashforgas and on Facebook
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
Action camp on Facebook
We CAN stop fracking in the UK!
Posted: March 20th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Events | Tags: access to land, activism, birthday, climate change, community, direct action, resistance, sipson, Squatting, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
Credits to Community Food Growers Network for this report and photos Grow Heathrow, the squatted community garden by Heathrow airport, celebrated it’s 4th Birthday on Saturday the 1st of March. People came from Bristol, Cambridge and France to kick off the celebrations with ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ on the Friday evening- a people’s history of Britain through folk songs, stories and poems connecting The Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with the 80′s road protests and Occupy via the enclosures and Highland Clearances. Over 50 folk sat down for a hot skipped meal to watch the show which included performances from ‘Crazy Dvine’, Mark Brown, storyteller Nick Hunt, and Keely Mills who is Poet Laurette for Peterborough. Saturday morning arrived and saw 150 people pass through the gates for site tours, cob-oven pizzas, seed sowing and sunshine. The highlight of the day was definitely the Cake competition which saw the site turn into a kind of amphitheater arena with the audience finding viewing points on piles of logs, the cabin and whatever else they could find! Cakes were followed by some top speeches from local campaigner Tracey, John McDonnell MP, Grow Heathrower Sam and supporters of the project. As the blight of the Heathrow Third Runway still threatens the village of Sipson, and the Con-Dem government continues its mania of austerity cuts, it was once again inspiring to see Grow Heathrow thriving- putting politics into practice and building community power in the face of economic, ecological and democratic crises. To find out more about Grow Heathrow visit www.transitionheathrow.com And to learnt about storyteller Nick Hunt’s new book ‘Walking the Woods and the Water’ see http://nickhuntscrutiny.com/ Music from 3 Acres and a Cow at https://soundcloud.com/crazydivine Credits to Community Food Growers Network for blog and photos
Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: Freddy | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: climate change, sustainability | 1 Comment »
Recently some Grow Heathrow residents paid a visit to a small scale farmer in South Wales to see what he’s been doing in the way of reversing the cycle of releasing carbon into the atmosphere by actually locking into the ground.
The first thing you see when you get there is his teeming one acre no dig annual vegetable plot. He combines alleys of perennials, including trees, with annual crops grown on 100metre long raised beds. The tree roots go deep into the soil, retrieving otherwise ‘lost’ nutrients. They also encourage symbiotic fungae which remain present when the annuals have been harvested. The trees will provide food crops and fuel for his biochar producing stove systems.
Just beyond the no dig agro-forestry garden is another field, currently grazed by horses with a small orchard forest garden and two poly-tunnels at the southern side. He plans to plant this field as a larger forest garden with willow and hazel coppice and other food and fuel tree crops which will also increase carbon draw down. These trees will be planted on the berm (the downhill side) of swales (water retaining landscapes) and it is hoped that, through creating these wetlands, some of the carbon drawn down by the trees will be stabilised in the soil.
In his home and in various guest and worker accommodation buildings and caravans, the heating and cooking is done using indoor wood burning stove systems which use pyrolisis rather than combustion to burn the volatile component of wood, leaving the biochar unburnt. This has the effect of stabilising much of the carbon in the wood, preventing it from readily decomposing when it is added to soil. The biochar is used on the stable floors, the chicken coop floor or added to composting organic matter in order to nutritionally activate the biochar before it is added to the soil.
Ed Revill is working towards closing the loop of his food and fuel crop cycle. More than closing the loop, he does the reverse of food and energy systems which release carbon dioxide into the sky. This he does in two ways; firstly by optimising carbon draw down through optimising plant surface areas and growth rates and secondly by stabilising some of the carbon which the plants have drawn down, making it resistant to bacterial and other decomposition and holding it in the soil. this in turn builds soil and improves soil structure.
He has been using conventional organic farming methods since 1997, using horses to ridge up the soil and hoe the weeds, but now he has turned to preserving the soil structure through using no dig raised beds which have biochar incorporated into the mulch material. The biochar helps to stabilise much of the organic matter used as the mulch through which crops are grow, saving work, conserving precious resources (the organic matter) and reducing run off and atmospheric pollution.
By adding the biochar to the mulch, the soil builds up because the biochar (which is around 95% carbon) will not readily decompose. It has a massive surface area and strong adsorptive properties which enable it to hold nutrients and encourage micro organisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungae (AMF) which have a symbiotic relationship with crops and which help to build soil aggregates. Biochar has been found to dramatically increase the CEC (cation exchange capacity) of soil. This enables the electrical bonding of soil components (adsorption) which further builds soil aggregates.
Tilling or disturbing the soil can disturb the symbiotic fungal networks and destroy the aggregate properties of the soil. The symbiotic fungae (AMF) also produce a form of stabilised carbon called glomalin. This carbon is given to the fungae by plants and in return the fungae bring nutrients to the plant roots. Glomalin acts to bind particles in the soil to create soil structure with strong aggregate properties, soil which retains water, nutrients and fertility and which is resistant to erosion and decomposition.
The inspiration for using biochar to build soil whilst reversing the causes of climate change came from studies of Terra Preta, (Portugese for ‘black earth’), a man made soil found in much of the Amazon basin. This soil supported a large, settled civilisation. This is an important discovery because this civilisation grew as a result of the practice of building soil through stabilising carbon in soil. This is the reverse of our ‘civilisations’ practice of burning fossil fuels and degrading soil, releasing carbon dioxide into the sky, in order to produce food and energy.
Our agro industrial system is failing. It relies on burning fossil fuels, it degrades soil, releasing soil carbon which contributes to climate change which in turn further degrades soil. It relies on land grabs, deforestation and transgenic technologies. If we continue to discourage small scale, soil building, climate change reversing systems of food and energy production through the massive tax payer subsidies to the fossil fuel and agro industrial corporations and through buying food and energy from corporations which destroy soil, burn oil and pollute the Earth then we will inevitably continue to destroy the biosphere.
Inspired by this form of agriculture, some residents at Grow Heathrow have added these tools to it’s array of features, and is producing biochar using a gassifying wood burner and adding it to the mulch. We also have a new willow coppice for the production of fuel to be used in it, as well as drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. Come visit to see how the system works.
To find out more and to see plans for making biochar producing stoves please visit www.soil-carbon-regeneration.co.uk
Posted: November 19th, 2013 | Author: Freddy | Filed under: Art, Cool Projects, Education | Tags: access to land, climate change, eco building, education, Geodomes, projects, Squatting, sustainability, sustainable technology, transition, workshop | No Comments »
Come and help build a 17 foot (5.1816m)! Geodome at Grow Heathrow. The workshop will run for a week from Friday 6th Dec.
We’ll be using a unique design that innovates the geodome structure for ease of assembly. This design incorporates a new star connection method that enables just one person to construct. Laying out the cover over the stars means that the cover will be already in place as the geodome is erected. Possibly included in the course will be waterproof seam sewing techniques and dome canvas sewing if we have time. The course will be limited in numbers to 4 persons each day so please email in advance to let us know your availability and interest so we can maximise participants.
Geodomes are based on triangular geometry and were popularised by Buckmeister Fuller. They are predominantly used for earthquake relief due to their intrinsic strength at intersecting joints, this makes it an ideal solution for earthships, which this model is intended.
We will be using recycled metal poles from the dilapidated greenhouses we have on site. Geodomes are one of the most versatile structures available; they are scalable and can be made into any size you wish, you can use all sorts of materials available, and can be used for all sorts of applications, and they can also be joined together.
We will be using a 3V design, which means it has 3 different size pole lengths. It also has the option of a 4/9 or 5/9 variant, which alows the dome to have 2 different heights, either less than or bigger than half a sphere.
Hope to see you budding eco builders on the week of the 6th.
Posted: November 18th, 2013 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Action | Tags: balcombe, barton moss, climate change, energy, fracking, occupy, protest | No Comments »
A lot changes in a few decades. I wonder what those 60s activists saving the whale would think of us now, as thousands of people across the UK sign up for text alerts so that they can pitch up a tent near Manchester to stop fracking. They’ll have to accept that activism’s moved on. Marine mammals have got to try a bit harder or they’ll be forgotten to the 21st century’s totally new narrative. It’s 2013. We’ve got to save the shale.
Welcome to the Northern Gas Gala.
24 hours after first major activity begins at IGas’ Barton Moss site, people will be converging for The Northern Gas Gala. All are warmly invited to join residents in a show of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment. Stay informed by signing up at northerngasgala.org.uk, to ensure you receive an invitation to this most poignant of parties.
All those signed-up at northerngasgala.org.uk will, when the Gala beckons, receive a text message with a start time.
WARMING! The arctic is melting. Frack less. Fly less.