June 2009

Firstly…. Happy Solstice!

Wot Free Festivals?  A further rant, from Tash

For those interested in this background, I ask you check these out:

Stonehenge:            http://tash.gn.apc.org/stones1.htm
Solstice Ritual:        http://tash.gn.apc.org/solst_0.htm
Beanfield:            http://tash.gn.apc.org/sh_bean.htm
The Story so far:         http://tash.gn.apc.org/history.htm

Personally, I come from a free festivals and travelling background. New Age Travellers etc.
A number of sayings have helped guide my life over time. Like….

Bring what you expect to find?
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
If not here, where?

In sum, this means self-reliance.  It means gatherings are ALWAYS better, when people attending don’t just attend , but are a main part of the act.  It is obvious to all those there, when this magic happens.

This is actually where I came in. 1972 Windsor, Stonehenge etc…..  These were my motives then and remain so now. Of course the authorities have difficulty with a system that means they are not in sole charge, hence all the law and violence since the Beanfield etc……

Over time, I have been involved in raising awareness about the law changes and their implications to us all.

·    Public Order Act 1986
·    Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
·    Noise Act
·    Barry Legg MP: Places of Entertainments (Increased Penalty) Act
·    Security Services Act
·    Terrorism Acts

And now all the Acts  that have been going through parliament –  with the words
“conduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose” being a new definition of serious crime!!!

With such new definitions of serious crime, that enable the use of some ‘heavier’ police departments to be applied against us.  And was the end of all the RTS and similar gigs.
Shame eh?

Then, in ‘rave mode’, I have spent time with the Velvet Revolution and All Systems gigs, I had written ‘Sound Advice’ and the ‘Right to Party’ – to try and raise these matters in peoples minds.
Well, we have lost each of the matters I’m on about here.   Whoever you vote for, the government gets in!

Now, what I am absolutely positive about though, is that people involved in the scene,

People have to realise that self-interest and their own immediate happiness  ( hedonism?), is not enough to make a festival, party rave, traveller site, gathering.
Important, but not enough.

Some folks on reading this will have been too young, to have had any objection to these changes as they have happened over recent years.   But many others of you will have been.

The way gatherings are now organised,  between those trying to conform with some pretty onerous conditions, (ie half to 2/3 of a ticket price to ‘self-police’ and pay for your own public order management and drug search.!) and those involved with the ‘free’ end of things but at continued ‘personal’ rather than ‘sheared’ risks.

This division is of course orchestrated by the other side.

This [old] hippy  Is now of the opinion that folk have now got the events / gathering / party they deserve.   Folks say that they haven’t seen me at many festivals in recent years …… well, there haven’t been any, have there? not what I mean anyway. I would be interested to know what folks think we should do about it.










Arrested for asking a policeman for his badge number – Guardian

The Guardian has obtained this police footage of Emily Apple and Val Swain being arrested by surveillance officers after asking for their badge numbers at the Kingsnorth climate camp last year. The two women speak to Paul Lewis about their arrest, imprisonment and official complaint

Fit Watch campaigners describe how they were arrested and bundled to the ground

Val Swain and Emily Apple, campaigners against surveillance of police forward intelligence teams, were held in custody for four days after challenging police officer over failure to display badge number – Guardian 21 June 2009

Squatters in the JB Spray Building, [Russell Street, Radford, Nottingham, NG7 4FL] prevented Severn-Trent water from cutting them off.

My report in Indymedia with piccys

Nottingham Squatters in the JB Spray Building, prevent water company from cutting them off

On tuesday afternoon [16th June] workmen were observed in the street outside, marking the road, ready to dig.  They intended to cut the supply to the building, from out in the road. Folks then went out and sat in the road to prevent any work from being started. A few supporters were scrambled and arrived to help out. Some comfy chairs and tables were deployed. Tea, bread and jam supplied, and folks settled down.

The workmen found the whole issue amusing and took photos of each other, with the protesters 🙂 All were amused. They were all quite friendly gezzers, with no personal issues about the situation. The Advisory Service for Squatters were contacted for advice, and they were helpful in talking directly to water company managers. The situation lasted 2 – 3 hours, before they all went away. People are of course, on the look-out for their return.

The J B Spray Building has been re-squatted for the 4th time [in as many years], over the last few weeks.

This large industrial building need some care and attention. Each time people have been evicted by the owners obtaining a temporary possession order. Then, years go by, and on peoples’ return, they discover that the building has fallen into yet greater dis-repair. The upper stories of the building are now so decrepid.  For a grade 2 listed building, this is such a shame.

Imagine, if people had been previously left alone, then they would have helped in maintenance, improvements and given the building, and the street, some security.

Still, back in the real world …… owners may say they are entitled to possession and all court has to do is establish that fact to grant orders.  FOR FUCKS SAKE. where is the sense in it all?

The law supports this state of affairs and in my opinion completely lacks the social responsibility that communities should expect.  Many squatters care about such places. There are so many empty properties. There is so much need for shelter. So many communities are blighted by the dereliction  of their surroundings.

Hoarders blamed for home deficit  BBC

and all the law can think about is the owners possession.

Squatting is about direct action to take some direct responsibly for the improvement of community, and i wish them well.

In my experience of squatting, owners / authorities generally use electric and gas supply as a weapon to help them remove folks. Action on water is a new one on me. Water being so basic to human existence.  The squatters handbook [p37] points out that where water is already connected: Section 1 Schedule 4A of the Water Industry Act 1999 makes it unlawful to disconnect “any dwelling which is occupied by a person as his only or principle home”.

Water Industry Act 1999 – Schedule 4

Water Industry Act 1999

Check out the Nottingham City Council – Buildings at Risk Web Site

PDF / page 137 for details of the building.

Quote :: “Planning History
None. The owner is unwilling to sell the property and prefers community uses.”

Yea, right!

So, there you have it.




Advisory Service for Squatters
Angel Alley,
84b Whitechapel High St,
E1 7QX

Section 6

Section 6 – Legal Warning [to print out]

Section 6 – Legal Warning [download]

Earlier coverage of ‘dis place

2006 Nottingham J B Spray Building Squatted / Evicted / Reoccupied

2006 Nottingham Spray Building Squat, Radford

2006 Nottingham Spray Squat Party 1 : Acoustic Gig

2006 Nottingham Spray Building Squat : Nottingham County Court Appearance

2006 Nottingham Spray Squat Party 2 : Acoustic Gig, with diner

2007 Nottingham Spray Building ‘spring into action’ open for business

2007 Nottingham Spring into Action :: Bicycle power for electric generation