A huge protest took place in Nantes on 22nd February, against the planned new replacement airport to be built at Notre Dame des Landes, some miles to the north. The organisers estimated some 50,000 protesters, who came in from supportive groups from regions all across France. There are reported to have been 65 coach loads of protesters who travelled to Nantes to take part, and 520 tractors, brought by supportive farmers from surrounding areas. The protests were put down with considerable force by the police, using water canon, rubber bullets and tear gas.
The full report is at Airport Watch, including an article from Le Monde, video of police response, and a blog from John Stewart of HACAN about the origins of the resistance to the airport.
In a blog about the huge demonstration, part of which turned in to rioting, at Nantes against the proposed new airport, John Stewart looks at how this protest came about – and its relevance to other large infrastructure projects in Europe. The Nantes protest organisers say as many as 50,000 people attended, from supportive protest committees from areas across France. The politics of this airport project have taken on national interest and significance, and also linked into opposition to “Les Grands Projets Inutiles Imposes” (useless, imposed mega-projects). The people passionately fighting plans for a new airport in unspoiled French farming countryside are linked to those opposing HS2 and other schemes like a high-speed rail in Northern Italy and cyanide-mined gold extraction project in Romania. All these projects have managed to get support from very disparate sections of society. They all have real doubts about the economics or the necessity of the project; also they have land, homes, countryside or communities to defend; there is significant local opposition; and they also attract in outside opposition, from people with a variety of perspective as well as environmental.
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
Last week the local community cafe, ‘Com.cafe’ came to Grow Heathrow for a fun day out.
There were games, foraging leaves, arts, music, lots of muddy shoes and learning lots of new things.
Have a look at the pictures and watch this space for future events
* SAVE THE DATE: 4TH BIRTHDAY PARTY, Saturday 1st March *
The past year has been filled with more growing, renewable energy, sustainable building, and much more. 2014 will see us in to our 4th Birthday celebration at Grow Heathrow… (Yes, get ready)
Saturday 1st March from 1pm at Grow Heathrow. Plus Pre-Birthday performance, ‘Three Acres and a Cow’ Land Rights Performance, Friday 28th February from 5pm at Grow Heathrow
We’re breaking last year’s record of over 100 pizzas in our wood-fired clay oven, with a bigger feast, more face painting, seed sowing, arts, more live music and of course the famous bike-powered sound system. Bring your friends and family, and come on down…
Plus, check out our legal update here and come down to site to check out some of our 2013 additions such as the finished straw bale house, artistic totem pole, the new gasifying wood burner and help us kick off our 5th year with a bang.
See you there!
More info and address/directions here:
Last week, Heathrow submitted its proposals for expansion to the Airports Commission. It announced three separate sets of plans for the third runway to the North, North West and South West of the airport, in a case which, according to the Airport Environment Federation (AEF), “rests on a series of half-truths and promises not backed by evidence.”
We’ll find out the long-awaited verdict from the Court of Appeal at 9.30am on Wednesday 3 July.
Please support us:
We’d love you to join us at the Royal Courts of Justice (courtroom 70) at 9.30 on Wed. Better yet, come show your solidarity where it’s most important – at Grow Heathrow!
Join us on site during the day and into the evening. The bike workshop will be running all afternoon, we’ll be cooking up a delicious dinner and there’ll probably be a campfire and music. You’re also welcome to stay over on Wednesday night, ready for our community workday on Thursday.
You can find directions to Grow Heathrow here. And the Royal Courts of Justice are on The Strand, WC2A 2LL.
Please spread the news far and wide, and for more info call us on 07890751568. You can also email email@example.com or tweet @transheathrow.
Love from the greenhouses xx
Every year politicians, royalty and CEO’s meet in secret to discuss the fate of the world. This year, you are all invited!
2013 welcomes the first ever Bilderberg Fringe Festival. Taking place between 7th – 9th June in Watford, the festival is a unique, FREE event which will nurture dialogue and discourse about Bilderberg in a peaceful, fun environment – alongside a jam-packed weekend of speakers, comedy, music, workshops, arts and entertainment!
Seeking to stimulate hearts and minds and unite the politically conscious, the event will be a positive platform which harmonises fun with enlightened idea exchanges. The Bilderberg Fringe Festival is an unmissable occasion for conscious citizens from all over the world to join together and have a fantastic party.
We are expressing our outrage at this travesty of democracy the only way we know how. By hula-hooping in the sunshine and dancing barefoot in the grass. Except where cows have been.
Where Bilderberg is closed, dark and joyless, we are open, happy and free. They may have better spa facilities, but we have better chai.
Join No Dash for Gas for a 4 day camp and protest at West Burton power station: 17th — 20th August 2013
Is Climate Camp back?
Big decisions are being made now about how we’re going to power the UK. The government’s policy of increasing our reliance on gas is pushing millions into fuel poverty. This – coupled with ruthless cuts to essential services – leaves many with an impossible choice between heating and eating. And the same policy guarantees that we’ll miss even our modest carbon reduction targets. Both the financial and the climate crises are related to the pursuit of profit above all else, in the interests of the few and at the expense of the many.
We need a win. And one win we need is a secure future for generations to come, where profits don’t trump the public interest and where we have safe, clean energy to meet our needs.
Be part of creating something BIG this summer, get involved now and Reclaim The Power.
We can fight back, as the student, trade union, women’s, disabled rights and anti-cuts movements have shown us. There has never been a more critical time to take action. The solutions are there to be grasped.
21 people went up two chimneys but 64,000 came down
Last October, 21 environmental activists shut down EDF’s West Burton power station for a week in protest at the government’s Dash for Gas. West Burton is the first of up to 40 new gas fired power stations being planned. With your help, including a solidarity petition signed by 64,000 people – they fought off EDF’s attempt to sue them for £5 million.
This summer, inspired by their action, we are building a wide coalition of groups and individuals who will be coming together to Reclaim the Power. We’ll plan together. We’ll put forward solutions. We’ll cross the border from anger to action. It was people power that stopped new coal and stalled plans for a third runway at Heathrow, that made bankers’ greed and tax avoidance toxic and that is now fighting austerity attacks on workers, women, pensioners and the disabled. Together, we will stop the dash for gas.
Want to be part of creating Reclaim The Power? Wondering where we’ll be, how you can get there or what you need to bring? More info to come soon, keep up to date at:
- No Dash for Gas on Facebook
- Join our facebook event
Hertfordshire Constabulary have confirmed to the Watford Observer that, in the words of the Observer, a ‘shadowy summit of world leaders [is] taking place in Watford next month.
It continues: ”The Bilderberg Group of around 140 influential figures including royalty, politicians and business leaders will meet at The Grove from June 6 to June 9… The group’s annual meetings have in the past attracted storms of protests from campaigners who accuse it of hijacking the democratic process.’
So local people are putting on a free framily-friendly fringe festival to Occupy Bilderberg. There’ll be:
- International Speakers
- ‘Hug a Bilderberger’
- Poetry and spoken word
- Delicious local and ethically sourced food and drink, plus grilled Bilderburgers.
All ages welcome, although it should be pointed out that this is not the same as the toddler-focussed consumer Build-a-Bear festival, which is what I thought when I first heard about it.