Bailiffs successfully resisted at Grow Heathrow (UK)

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At 10:00 this morning the land owner plus 5/6 bailiffs arrived to evict the residents of Grow Heathrow, threatening to break entry. Residents locked themselves to structures and climbed to higher ground. The police arrived, explaining to the bailiffs they were woefully unequipped to enforce an eviction. Indeed they were. Moreover, Inspector David George from the Heathrow Villages Area Police confirmed to us that as no official documentation regarding a warrant for the eviction was presented to Grow Heathrow or the police, the attempt to evict the site was unlawful.

This success has proved to be useful practise for our call-out response, with many locals and individuals in the Grow Heathrow family arriving this morning.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME DOWN!

If you’d like to be added to the eviction call-out phone tree, email us at info@transitionheathrow.com with your phone number, or text us on 07706602284.

HAYES CARNIVAL HERE WE COME!

We are still, as always, trying to buy our community garden’s land instead of having bailiffs at our home.

Heathrow airport admits that at least 750 homes would need to be evicted and bulldozed under their plans for a third runway, and obviously more for a fourth runway. However, houses next to the runway would be unliveable due to noise and possibly air pollution. Final government blueprints for a runway would be different to the airport’s proposals, and may include more homes. Grow Heathrow has been teaching local residents how to peacefully resist eviction, as a third runway could emit 11.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year – more than the whole of Kenya. It is no surprise that people are refusing to be evicted to make way for climate crimes, when scientists warn that such airport expansion is incompatible with the government’s legally binding obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008 to cut carbon by 80% by 2050.

Rising Up – turning fences into lock-ons and a second camp springs up

Stapleton allotments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protesters are continuing to cause mischief at the Stapleton Allotments where bailiffs are attempting to evict people from trees.

MetroBus protesters who have already been removed from the site being bulldozed for a new road have pushed over the temporary fencing and mounted it in defiance.

Meanwhile, one protester has locked himself to a gate with a bicycle D-lock at a second site on the other side of the M32 where a new occupation has sprung up. The new camp has also been served with an eviction notice.

How to dig a protestor out of a hole at Stapleton allotment

More photos

RisingUp in Bristol: eviction begins of allotments protest camp

12th March 2015

After more than a month making a stand against Metrobus plans by living in trees above Stapleton Allotments, protesters look set to be evicted this morning.

According to a Bristol Post reporter on the scene, at least 30 bailiffs have surrounded a make-shift camp with more being dropped off by bus.

The move comes two days after the council secured a second possession order for land in the area occupied by the Rising Up Group, which has said it will strongly resist any moves to get them off the land.

It is not the first time there has been activity by security staff at the site, however reports from the scene suggest this is the first time bailiffs have been making obvious moves towards the camp.

People have locked into barrels of concrete, up trees, digger diving, naked cat & mouse, locking on to digger arms, concrete blocks in caravans and more!

Day 41! EVICTION UPDATE

4.10pm. Update: The attempted eviction is still going on – all of the tree sits are still full of people who are all fine & in good spirits – giving us a show of acrobatics and dare devil climbing here & there!

The heroic person in the meadow tunnel has after 7 hours been brought out – waved an arm but was on a stretcher- hopefully OK. Other people still locked onto trees on the ground and gate!

They have crashed diggers and bulldozers through bird rich wooded area and have managed to swamp one of their bulldozers after digging through a culvert, which 2 people then chose to lock themselves to! ..

Some security and bailiffs have been OK others heavy handed and dangerous – at one point they were about to use an axle grinder to remove a D lock from someone’s neck until we shouted that they could kill him! One woman was pulled around and one bailiff tried to drag her out of a tree – in a totally unsafe manner – all captured on video.

It is a media frenzy, but the usual Rising Up way the atmosphere is somewhat jovial and there is nothing to fear… if you are spectator on the ground. Photos and videos about to be posted. Rising Up call for more people to come down to the site to show their solidarity and witness this spectacle

– COME & SHOW YOUR SUPPORT & SOLIDARITY TODAY! – It is something you will never forget and a story to tell for years to come!

10.30am update Many of the protestors, including legal observers on the ground have forcibly been removed – dragged off by heavy handed bailiffs , one on one, showing completely unreasonable force, one female protestor had her top pulled up whilst a bailiff smoking a fag dropped ash in her face. A bulldozer has started illegally demolishing buildings which have asbestos roofs and a digger has gone through a bird rich woodland area razing trees – despite it being bird nesting season – making this both a worrying and illegal act. Bristol Council “Green Capital” ..hold your head in shame! The world is watching.

8.38am Update: EVICTION IN PROCESS ( ABOUT 1 HR IN) around 70 bailiffs on site – have been very heavy handed dragging off legal observers and other people – 1 on 1 ( they should be 2 people). A climbing team is there and have set up a station and medical tent. Very few police on site – most on the road. They have brought in a digger and an amphibious vehicle and set up medical area…hope not to be needed. All of the tree sits are full and some people still on the ground! COME DOWN , BRING CAMERA, BANNERS, NOISE AND GOOD VIBES!

Website

Updates, photos and videos

Brazil’s Landless Movement Destroys GMO Eucalyptus Seedlings, Occupies GMO Meeting

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March 5th, 2015

This morning about 300 peasants organized by La Via Campesina occupied the meeting of the Brazil National Biosafety Technical Commission (CTNBio), which was convening to discuss the release of three new varieties of transgenic plants in Brazil including genetically engineered eucalyptus trees. The meeting was interrupted and decisions were postponed. Earlier in the morning on Thursday, another 1,000 women of the Brazil Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) from the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais occupied the operations of FuturaGene Technology Brazil Ltda, a subsidiary of Suzano timber corporation, in the municipality of Itapetininga, in São Paulo.

16722801571_96f17a6a7c_bThe site occupied by women of the MST was in Itapetininga, where transgenic eucalyptus, known as H421 is being developed and tested. During the protest, the MST destroyed the seedlings of transgenic eucalyptus trees there. The action denounced the evils that a possible release of transgenic eucalyptus, which was to be voted on CTNBio today, could cause to the environment. According to Atiliana Brunetto, a member of the National MST, the historic decision of the Commission must respect the Brazilian legislation and the Biodiversity Convention to which Brazil is a signatory. Destroys Eucaliptus Seedlings The vast majority of its members are placed in favor of business interests of the large multinationals at the expense of environmental, social and public health consequences,” he says. For Brunetto all approved GMO means more pesticides in agriculture, since the packets always approved for marketing include a type of agricultural poison.

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“Brazil is the largest consumer of world’s pesticides since 2009. A recent survey by the University of Brasilia found that, in the most optimistic case, 30% of the food consumed by Brazilians are unsafe to eat only contamination by pesticides account” said Brunetto.

In the case of eucalyptus, the application of transgenic release was made by pulp and paper company Suzano.

“If approved by the committee these GE faster growing eucalyptus will mature in only 4 years, as opposed to 6-7 years presently in non-GMO eucalyptus. The water consumption will increase 25 to 30 liters / day per eucalyptus planted that it currently uses. We are again calling attention to the danger of green deserts,” said Catiane Cinelli, a member of the Rural Women’s Movement.

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More at Stop GE Trees

Yorkley Court Community Farm Court News

News from court:

Yorkley Court Community Farm lost in court this morning. The judge ruled in favour of millionaire, Brian Bennett. There is a possession order. A timeframe for eviction has been given.

They have:

  • 24 hours for farmhouse
  • 3 days for area surrounding farmhouse
  • 14 days for the bottom strip

People living at the farm will be meeting this afternoon to determine what they will do next and what support they need.

Please continue to support them! Visit/donate/spread the word.

More people are hugely welcome on site. Travel money can be given if its a barrier for you. Please bring sleeping equipment and be prepared.

Donate: http://www.gofundme.com/mr9arc

Email: yorkleycourt@gmail.com
Facebook: YorkleyCourtCF
Twitter: @yorkleycourt
Web: https://www.yorkleycourt.wordpress.com
Phone: 07522 025 889

Viva YCCF!

A Brief History of Reclaim the Fields UK

In March 2011, a small gathering took place at Grow Heathrow, a land squat set up to resist the expansion of Heathrow Airport. The site has remained a pioneering example of an RTF attitude and approach to politics. The European Assembly brought together 30 people to discuss RTF and if there was the energy to make the UK into a star of the RTF constellation.

The ‘who are we’ statement resonated with many that had been engaged in food and land struggles. A small group stepped up to then organise the next gathering, which took place in Bristol in August 2011. Bristol is a vibrant city with a strong anarchist culture and many growing projects. These networks came together over two days at the Factory, a squatted social-centre in the city centre. There were organised workshops, visits to local projects, an open space, and facilitated discussions, which explored about next steps for the constellation. Around 80 people participated over the weekend.

Following the gathering, the UK website was born, more Land & Farm projects were identified and added to the website. A small group formed that began squatting abandoned farm buildings over the river, who would soon occupy ‘Yorkley Court’, a 60 acre farm in the Forest of Dean, where the land ownership is contested and where the soil is abused by industrial agriculture.

In October 2011, RTF met together at The Land is Ours Gathering, an existing network of people working on land rights in the UK. A strong connection with the old guard and the new school was formed in the land rights movement in the UK.

In the Winter 2011, Grow Heathrow became a ‘winter base’. From this gathering emerged the WOOLF network. This is called ‘woofing with teeth’ and was started to create learning opportunities at radical projects, where skills not only relating to food growing, but also political struggle, can be shared.

A reclaim the fields group also began living in the woods squatting ‘The Wilderness Centre’, an environmental education centre owned by the local authority and closed due to austerity cuts, in the Forest of Dean, in the South West of England. The site received much media attention and local support. A RTF UK Spring Gathering was organised in March 2012.

Two days before the gathering was to begin the Council gained a possession order from the courts and so during the gathering the site was under threat of eviction. This meant that the workshops focussed on building barricades, resisting arrests along with other more usual workshops. However many from around the country still came and did their best to learn and share together.

With an awareness that most activities were in the south, in the Summer of 2012, organisers in the constellation arranged a gathering that took place in Darlington, Durham, in the north of the country. More than 70 people travelled to the biodynamic farm that hosted us. There were numerous workshops, moving conversations and ideas for action.

In a cold Spring 2013 another gathering was organised in the Forest of Dean, this time at Yorkley Court. The gathering had a different format, and become more of an action camp, with a DIY or die ethos, where people could learn practical skills to support the land occupation, such as building structures and stoves.

Finally in the summer of 2014, Reclaim the Fields Scotland organised a gathering to mobilise the movement in Scotland.

RTF Summer GatheringRTF Scotland have been taking action on land rights, supporting community food growing projects and creating a network of those interested in getting back to the land for the past three years. Land rights in Scotland are more in public awareness, with many learning about the Highland Clearances, or witnessing the pattern of landownership of rich billionaires and royalty that have carved up the lands of the country. However the gathering helped to raise the profile of the struggle further. People came from across Scotland and the Islands to Monimal Tower Project, who hosted the gathering, and have beautiful gardens and food production systems in place. There is now more energy to take RTF forward in Scotland.

The gatherings are obviously the most visible aspects of RTF organising in the UK, however much other work has taken place. RTFers are extremely active in their own local projects and struggles. The UK email list has served as a platform to share news and projects. Relationships and friendships have been formed that have fruited in multiple ways. RTF has had a presence each year at big food events, such as the Oxford Real Farming Conference, and the Food Sovereignty UK Gathering, as well as many local gatherings and forums on food and land.

Small numbers of RTF UK organisers have also traveled to European Gatherings and Camps, such as in Romania, Germany and Italy.

A number of RTFers have helped to start the Landworkers Alliance, a new organisation in the UK linked to Via Campesina. While its main focus is lobbying, its RTF sister helps it to stay aware of its radical roots and visible actions, for example, April 17 demonstrations, have been organised together. The difference in politics and tactics, however, has potentially diluted or at least distracted a number of people that were previously very active within RTF. We hope there can be a beneficial relationship into the future and solidarity.

The challenges in organising however, are shared by many across borders. Each gathering new people get involved and excited, yet eventually move onto other projects or priorities. A local groups network was suggested but not formalised. Sometimes the email list feels less responsive than hoped for. However we feel we can only measure our strength by our response in moments of struggle.

In June 2014, illegal bailiffs turned up to evict Yorkley Court. Call-outs went out, and people from across the country came to support and effectively kick out the bailiffs and protect the site. Emotional, material, practical and political support has come from all corners of the Island. A similar swell of support has been felt by Grow Heathrow.

Many of us turn to each other in times of need, whether its help on the land, or frustration in political projects or the subjugation of wage slavery. The fact that RTF exists gives hope to many and strengthens us all.

We are very aware of our niche in the more liberal food sovereignty movements, however the ‘who we are’ statement acts like a mirror for the politics in our hearts and we are committed to struggling against capitalism, not fitting within it.

Reclaim the Fields European Assembly

RTF Assembly Web
When: Thursday 8 – Monday 12th of January 2015.

Where: Sumac Centre, Nottingham (blogs.xtreamlab.net/sumac/find-us/) map: goo.gl/48jAjH

Why: The goal of this meeting above all is to meet up to see where we are at with our European Reclaim the Fields constellation and to exchange information amongst the stars and local groups. It will be an occasion to put in practice new forms of organisation which have been decided upon at the last meeting (in Austria). As it will take place in the UK, we also want to create stronger links with people and collectives present there and exchange on local dynamics.

This meeting will be a working and reflection space for local/regional groups and on themes present within RTF. As such it is mainly meant for people already active in the constellation, or which are aware/informed on the dynamics and last discussions of the network. But everybody is welcome!
Program:

  • Thursday 8th – arrival, in the evening presentation of the different groups/collectives/people/stars of the RtF-constellation
  • Friday 9th – working groups and thematic debate
  • Saturday 10th – organisation of the camp and next meeting
  • Sunday 11th – writing up notes of the meeting, if needed more time for the working groups
  • Monday 12th – collective work at Sumac Centre

A detailed agenda proposal will be send before the meeting. If you have any proposals or questions concerning the content please contact: contactrtf@riseup.net

Why there and why at that moment?: We choose to have this assembly in the UK to create more links with the UK and Scotland RTF groups who have been having regional meetings themselves. You can find out more about this here

We choose these dates (as besides our garden/farm activities might be more relaxed at this time a year) as it follows the Oxford Real Farming Conference (an alternative to an agro-business conference happening simultaneously) taking place just before the assembly in Oxford (UK) on 6th and 7th of January. The program you can find on oxfordrealfarmingconference.org. All RtF-ers are very much invited to take part (take into account there is a participation fee of about £35). The Landworkers Alliance (UK branch of Via-Campesina) is facilitating a whole day at this conference. Reclaim the fields UK and Europe as well as the newly formed Groundspring network (a new entrants to farming support group made up of organic, biodynamic apprentices and others wanting to make change and get into farming) are very much invited to share their experiences on how we can procreate changes to move agriculture forward.

Travel: Nottingham is right in the centre of the UK, accessible by affordable coaches and trains (from London, trains:the oxford tube and oxford express. Coach: the mega bus and national express. From oxford to Nottingham there will be a few lifts and some buses. We are applying to a fund to try to cover travel costs. So please let us know when you would come and what your possible travel expenses may be. So if the fund gets through, great; if not we will try to help each other out -so anyone who wants to come, is able to do so!
Some websites to check international travels (keep in mind that advance booking lowers the costs!) Megabus: uk.megabus.com (around 40 pounds single) Eurostar: booking in advance now seems to cost 88 euros return from Paris: www.eurostar.com/fr-fr/calendar/londres… IDbus: fr.idbus.com/fr Eurolines (buses to london) : eurolines.com

Info about the host: The Sumac Centre is a volunteer-run social and community centre based in Forest Fields in Nottingham. They host multiple radical & community groups and are run on non-hierarchical principles. They have a lot of indoor space available for the assembly and indoor accommodation at both the centre and at the Housing Cooperative across the road. They run on a sliding-scale basis. We will be able to access beds/floor space/showers & warmth in the winter!

Food from Veggies: Veggies, a cooking collective based in this centre will organise the cooking and local food supply. They are a vegan cooking collective supporting campaigns for humans, other animals and the environment since 1984. Even so we will help with the cooking, and any produce that people want to bring is definitely appreciated! We can connect with the multiple growing & food related radical projects in Nottingham (such as ecoworks.org.uk / summerwood.org.uk/).

Call-out for funding: We have accessed some funding to support with travel costs. Please email contactrtf@riseup.net

Registration: *Please fill in this registration form to let us know that you are coming and if you are coming by car/van this is particularly useful as then we can organise lift/car sharing as much as possible.

Seeds: « Reclaim The Seeds » invite you to bring your self produced seeds and all the pedagogical material that seems relevant, in order to swap seeds and discuss about it.

Some more practicalities:

– ALCOHOL: there is a bar, when the bar is open, please use it, when its closed its ok to drink your own

– DOGS: we are still checking with Sumac Centre about their dog policy. If you want to come with a dog, please contact us before at contactrtf@riseup.net, so we can talk about it.

– KIDS: people with kids are welcome! We are trying to organise a special space for children at the meeting. If you plan on coming with kids, please contact us before contactrtf@riseup.net in order to talk about what you need there in order feel comfortable.

– LANGUAGES: thanks to the bla collective, there will be interpretation into three or four languages depending on the needs of the people present at the meeting.

Contact: If you have any questions concerning logistics or content of the meeting please contact contactrtf@riseup.net!
See you all there!

Some background on the last European meeting and general RtF-info At the last European meeting in February 2014 in Nikitsch/Austria we worked on the functioning of the RtF-constellation. This is what came out: We still understand RtF as an organizational constellation of stars which is in constant movement and process. Stars are persons, collectives or projects who/which share the RtFs values and relate themselves and their work to the RtF goals. The stars are organized and meet in local networks which are autonomous and have their own objectives. The local networks are the base of the RtF constellation since it is essential for RtF to work from the bottom up. Apart from the local networks, there are seven working groups (website, bulletin, translation, finance, propaganda, infokiosk and a group organizing the next meeting). And five thematic groups (seeds, farm network, gender, access to land and presentation of RtF).

On the European level there are three different kinds of meetings:

    • Functional meetings once a year during winter time. The objective is to get feedback from the working groups, plan the camp, get news from the local networks and have an exchange about what is happening in the different local contexts.
    • Thematic meetings take place whenever people/local networks/working groups organize one. The idea is to work on specific topics. This can be for example a discussion of concepts, an exchange on agricultural techniques and knowledge or the support of a local struggle.
    • European camps take place in summer and are bigger and take longer than the other meetings. The objective is to make RtF grow by „going to new places“, support local struggles and share skills, knowledge and ideas. h2. The last two camps took place in Rosia Montana/Romania in 2011 and in Manheim/Germany in 2013. There is the proposal to do the next camp in 2015 in Chalkidiki/Greece.

Free-trade deal threatens UK Food Security

Farmers and growers from the Landworkers’ Alliance will protest in London on the 12th July calling for the free trade negotiations between the EU and the US to be scrapped.

The controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is the biggest bilateral trade deal in history but negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. They aim to ‘harmonise’ standards and regulations, which will mean a shift towards the lowest common denominator, with serious repercussions for farmer’s livelihoods and public health.

If the corporations involved get their way we will see the increasing import of inferior produce into the EU which will depress prices for farmers. Furthermore, important health and safety standards are at risk with US negotiators pushing to remove regulations on Genetically Modified foods, increase the quantity of pesticide residues permitted and allow the use of dangerous chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones previously banned in the EU.

“The EU’s pre-negotiation concession to allow imports of American beef decontaminated with lactic acid spray is indicative of what is to come – quality in farming and food processing will be driven down into a race to the bottom with farmers and the public loosing out” said Humphery Lloyd a grower and member of the Landworkers’ Alliance.

“This agreement is shaping up to be a hand out to corporations at the expense of public health and food security. If we degrade our import standards in line with the demands consumers will have more than just chlorine soaked chicken to worry about – this will force farmers out of business and seriously erode UK food sovereignty. We demand that the government stops selling out UK farmers and consumers in these negotiations.”

The LWA is a member of the international peasant farming movement La Via Campesina which represents 200 million small-scale producers around the world. We campaign for the rights of small-scale producers and lobby the UK government and European parliament for policies that support the infrastructure and markets central to our livelihoods.

Interviews and photos 12:30pm, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, SW1H 0ET, London

e: LWApress@riseup.net
w: landworkersalliance.org.uk