Green Summer - A rundown of what did and didn't hapen at this summer's annual green events

Big Green Battering

15-20,000 people were expected to turn up on Wednesday 29th of July to the Big Green Gathering site near Cheddar, Somerset, for Europe's largest enviro-event - a five-day festival promoting sustainability and renewable energy, with everything from allotments to alternative media. However, it was cancelled just a few days before as Mendip Council, cited potential for crime and disorder and safety concerns as a reasonable grounds to disallow the event from going ahead. This was even despite the fact that the uber hippy peace man fest, with a virtually crime free ten year stint had actually been granted a licence on the 30th of June.  Police who had already set up roadblocks and had promised to turn festival-goers away seemingly knew that the festival was not going to happen before the organisers. Chief Inspector Paul Richards, festival liaison, later confirmed to one of the festival organisers that This is political, adding that the decision had been made over his head at county level. The police were reportedly frank about the fact that the closure had been planned for two weeks.  This was a blatant act of political sabotage  the Big Green Gathering is now completely bankrupt, they knew that we were going to be closed down and yet they carried on allowing us to spend money hand over fist on infrastructure” one organiser told radical newsletter SCHNEWS back in July.  What a disgrace.

Climate Camp

On a more positive note, La Bouche made their way, with thousands of other green activists, to the same spot were peasants revolted against a corrupt sovereign back in 1300s n set up camp. As we pitched our tent enormous structures were erected in matter of seconds, and suddenly we were in the midst of a bustling little eco town - complete with cinema, workshop tents, student areas, kitchens, kids play tent and free shop where I got a gorgeous little coat for 0p. Workshops ranging from solar powered sound systems to kids climate change awareness sessions took place over the week.

I was fairly surprised to see few police around given the BGG shambles and G20 atrocities.  Camp spokesperson Ellie Robson commented, The police were very low-key but it's no wonder after the events at the G20. It was a very coordinated approach on their behalf.  Nevertheless their presence was still imposed on the camp of peaceful climate activists in the form of a huge cherry picker with CCTV cameras perched on the top staring out the congregation. 

Private companies who contribute to the climate chaos were targeted in a succession of actions throughout the week. We went to RBS with step ladders and blockaded the entrance, and then some of us went to the trading floor and super-glued ourselves together.  I liked the naked action too, and also at the same time somebody went and put up a pop up tent at Ratcliffe, where we intend to go in October with a sign on that said Climate Camp coming soon!.  Said Ellie. 'Were you pleased with it all?' Yes we had four aims: one, to promote sustainable living, two, to educate people, three, movement building and four, to do some direct action and I think we accomplished this all with a chilled and positive energy. V.G indeed.

Leave a Comment