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I introduce my book ‘Gathering Together Fighting for Justice’ at Photo gathering at Photo-Parlor in Nottingham

Tash at PhotoSocial

Operation Solstice – The Battle of the Beanfield (Director’s Cut extended version)

This is the original and 47 min extended version of the documentary about the Battle of the Beanfield – digitised from the last remaining sub-master tape to mark the 30th anniversary on 1st June 2015.

This films documents events that happened on 1st June 1985 when people tried to make their way to Stonehenge to set up what would have been the 11th People’s Free Festival.

National government and local authorities had decided to put an end to both the Festival and the travelling lifestyle that growing numbers of people were adopting during the dark years of the Thatcher era.

It was the time of the Miners strike and anti-nuclear protests at Greenham Common. Anyone who did not agree with government policy was considered to be the ‘Enemy Within’ and was investigated, infiltrated, suppressed and marginalised.

The police stopped a convoy of 600 largely peaceful men, women and children as they made their way to Stonehenge. People drove into a field to avoid the police but were surrounded and given no chance of escape.

The Police operation had been planned for several months. New paramilitary equipment and tactics developed during the miners’ strike were implemented; later in the day the people in the Beanfield were violently attacked by massed ranks of 1300 riot police. Large numbers of vehicles were destroyed and 536 people were eventually arrested – the largest mass arrest of civilians in English legal history.

It wasn’t a Battle, it was an ambush where defenceless people were beaten and those that tried to defend themselves were beaten some more. Few, if any, charges were ever upheld against the people and in 1991 some of the Travellers successfully sued the police for damages. Although the judge over-ruled the intentions of the jury and all of their compensation was taken away in costs.

Why is this important when tens of thousands are massacred around the world annually? Because it’s about freedom and hypocrisy – this is England, where we pretend to hold the moral high ground and we justify invading other people’s countries to uphold human rights. But if our own house is not in order then who are we to judge?

This film was self-funded during the summer/winter of 1990/91 and Channel 4 provided some completion money for a 23 min version that was broadcast in October 1991 despite attempts by the Police to take out high court injunctions to prevent it.

Upwards and onwards

“All in this together:” Are benefits ever a lifestyle choice? by Dole Animators

some background at  http://www.fabians.org.uk/my-experience-of-being-on-benefits

 

A Judge for the Communicator Awards : Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts. AIVA

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Operation Solstice – The Battle of the Beanfield (Director’s Cut extended version)

Armed Police on further deployments in Nottingham as part of ‘Operation Tempora’. Although the threat level as recommended by JTAC Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has been reduced, officers were still at this level of readiness over the bank holiday and into this week. I am sure planners will keep the situation under review.

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Contact sheet at : https://1drv.ms/b/s!Am2MltXmn7r1iHlNhNJh3RwKRxnh

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Message from Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Prior. Nottinghamshire Police

Over the last 24 hours we’ve received a number of messages from people who are, understandably, concerned about the increased national threat level.

Firstly, we’d like to reassure you that we have robust plans in place for situations like this, which are regularly tested, and we continuously review these, as well as our resourcing and deployment of resources, in line with the national strategy.

In light of the tragic events in Manchester, we have reviewed all planned events, and continue to assess the appropriate policing response to each event and venue. You are likely to see an increased police presence at events over the coming days – this is a response to the increase in threat level nationally.

We work very closely with our partners across the city and county including local authorities, other emergency services, public transport providers, football clubs and other event venues to ensure we are providing the best possible service to the people of Nottinghamshire.

Some people have asked questions about individual venues’ security arrangements and changes to these. While this is the responsibility of the venue, national guidance has been issued and we continue to work closely with them to advise on their own arrangements.

I hope this goes some way to reassure you but if you do have concerns or questions, please just ask our officers.

I know this is an unsettling time and would encourage people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321 – remember, it’s better to have multiple people report the same thing than to assume someone else has already reported it.

Armed Police Deployments, Nottingham [up to] May 2017 Contacts

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Am2MltXmn7r1iHlNhNJh3RwKRxnh

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