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    More than a"Walk in the park"

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    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    More than a"Walk in the park"

    Post  lost on Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:28 am

    a few weeks ago i saw a piece on facebook which was probably posted elsewhere proposing a march from isleworth in suburban west london to windsor,where marchers would seek to camp on common or other land and begin cultivating the land.i was excited because its another revisit to the digger tradition which gre out of the english revolution in the 1640s when very poor people who owned nothing grouped together to cultivate common land and create a common treasury,a common wealth.despite its political and economic defeat in those years,there is something powerful in the ideas that will not die.i am aware that this is at least the 3rd revival of the ideas,in my own lifetime.then i had a second memory,which is particularly powerful for me in that i took a very active part in the windsor free festival in 1973(it was annual between at least 1972-75,although not always strictly at windsor).then we outwitted police at every turn and the festival community effectively controlled the site at i think st.annes great park in windsor great park.the main architects of the idea included ubu bill dwyer and sid rawles,anarchists of reputation,stature and courage,who are sadly no longer with us.me and my friend roger hutchinson,also no longer with us wrote the daily festival bulletin/newspaper for the first 5-6 days of the festival with equipment provided by paper tiger project from harrow.but ive written about this before here,so i only want to say that its importance was for me in showing another way we might live..its stayed with me ever since.

    so i decided i would go.some minor public transport delays meant i missssed the departure of the march but with some assistance and us eof the new technologies(a mobile)i was able to catch up with it in hounslow east,where i met some 20 or so others.a few had bikes,2 pulling small trailers containing camping equipment,food and i would guess some seeds.my comrades ranged from young to people as old as myself,and equal numbers of men and women.it was not really a march but like arelaxed stroll in the park.we talked,we shared things,we looked after each other.we took breaks to rest and sit in the sun.some went ahead,some ensured that no one got left behind.no one hurried us up.i guess me and my companion phil,who id di not know until i met him that day walked 3mile so or so before we realised that maybe we were in the wrong place!a call,and a littel while later mark came to find and meet us.i took my leave,and went home,knowing id reached my point of exhaustion,and was not equipped nor able to camp due tomy health problems.they returned to the main group and camped for the night.whilst police did not harass us at all,it wa sclear that we were under observation all the way,and we would pass not so discreetley parked cars along the way.everyone was good humoured about it,although it is of concern that some 20 people taking a stroll together are subject to such observation.it became a bit of a joke in that we asked the officers follwoing us,if they had seem our friends.they laughed and were not entirely sure themselves.police did not stop the camp.comrades spent aquiet night apart from friendly visits from vlocal villagers.i said id meet up with them again on sunday....to be conrinued.

    lost

    Number of posts : 151
    Registration date : 2010-12-13

    More than a"walk in the park"

    Post  lost on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:45 am

    whilst i was unable to camp out with my activist comrades on saturday night,i checked in with them on sunday morning before setting off to meet them.they walked from sipson/harmondsworth to datchet.i got to windsor and walked back into datchet and then on with them to a field near the albert bridge.one comrade told me that during the earlier part of the walk crown estate"officers"had tried serving ecah member of the group with papers prepared by them to warn participants of the consequences of trespass on crown estate land.not long after that very conversation said"agents"/"officers2arrived in ablue transit van to serve papers on me,which i refused to take.the agent who appeared a little agitated left the papers for me by dropping them onto the path/grass verge as i would not take them,he then proceeded to photograph me.although i would not co-operate with this and guess he only got a picture of me in my hat,without my face showing-my distinctiveness is unavoidable.he behaved like a "spook"and it was abit of aspooky experience.there were a lot of police about for a rural sunday afternoon,andthere was at least one cycist officer with some of the group at all times i was there,although they played no part in the cativities of the criwn agents and simply remain talking to activists as they climbed the normal barbed wire fence to a field.unable to gain safe access,i sadly returned home.whilst alittle spooked,i also did not want to miss anything.i had the powerful memory of being at the free festival in the great park in 1973 although the circumstances,the situation,the times and indeed the law were very different to how things are now.what is commonsujectively for me,is the feeling of getting a glimpse into a crack in reality that opens up other possibilities.

    this morning i had contact with another"walker"who said that the group had moved on from private land in its search for"common land"and had camped in apublic park overnight.there were apparently at one point 7 plice cars/vehicles present during some confrontational moments-which is apparently more police presence than during some very recent criminal activity in the area,such as burglary.as the camp was on public/council propefty-a park-in what may have been a different jurisdiction,police seem to have been scrupulous about not having any breach of law to enforce-especially as much of this is civil or common law,not criminal matters.

    when i spoke to comrades a little while ago,one had been arrested but appears he can be confident he can defend himself and clearly has the support of the group,including myself.he is in breach of what is described as some sort of"super"asbo/anti social behaviour order,imposed for earlier"occupy..."activity or related to the olympics.

    the group believe they have found a site for the night near runnymede,between the raf memorial and the site of the signing of magna carta-suitably symbolic,in its association with widening liberties in the medieval/feudal period of english history.comrades are aware that whilst they may not be arrested tonight,they could be moved on once"authroities"have obtained appropriate injunctions.as i spoke to comrades they were in discussion with police about planned movements and activities.the group have however decided that at presents,apart from referrig public and press alike to a website/statement,they do not want to speakto the press.unsurprisingly they like many of the public do not trust the press,who are regardeded as willing and able to twist anything they are told,to represent their own angles,and not that of the story itself.inmy experience such stories seek out 2 things the negative,lowest common denominator in human activity/plitics and the viewpoint of those who think they are in power and control.

    and yet,what is claer is that these actions by the group arise out of considered self activity,and a developed senses of the tradition(s)in whose footsteps it follows.they are acting together as a unity of equals,and with which i have no desire to break.

    we live in time that alongside difficulty,everything is open to being contested.each and all struggles ned to be linked-class struggle is not just the stormy and often aggressive high point,but takes a wide variety of forms in our individual and shared lives.this is the class struggle,in which a group of people who have differenet and innovatory ideas about how we might live are pitted against the might of the state,even if that state appears at time sto handle situations with"kid gloves".it cannot be trusted that this is any more than a temporary state of affairs.yet behind this might and faux-toleration is also a weakness,and avulnerability for that state.for behind the sophistication is a brute force that seems unable to give any longer,if it ever did,any substantive tolerance to things being done differently.in 1973 the same "fragments of the state"was outwitted by a sbstantial,if often politically naive hippie subculture-of which i was one who ran"rings around"state interventin for at least a week.in the almost 40 years since,we seem to have lost some if not alot of our liberty,in that the state now seeks to micro-manage us-so that accetable choice is sometimes(0ften?)reduced to what colour we want or mobiles or whether we eat one brand of urger over another.

    marx wrote that we carry our past into the future and that some of that past are the"bad habits"learned in a class society which may not be best for a new way.but it is also true that we can carry the seeds of how we would like it to be through our struggles into the future.it seems to me that what the state cannot do,is stop people talking,sharing ideas,relating to ecah other,making new relationships of friendship and comradeship.whatever happens over the next few days or weeks or hopefuly longer,these people-and i am one-are trying to articulate,and work through at least the starting points of another,better way,which might be one of many if"we"let the flowers bloom.

    in th process each struggle needs to be articulated,defended,valued,shared,developed and linked up.for me the personal can no longer be divided from the"political"not least because it is through our individua senses and bodies that the"political"is enacted.and what is meaningful for any individual can only come into reality as a shared and social process,for erything we do occurs in asocial context.

    whether this group,this campaign finds a place to safely cultivate on common land,it is aleady sowing seeds of idea sof differenet ways of being.we are looking for a new garden,and a way back to the garden from which metaphorically at least we once came.what is absoluetly central andessential is our friendships,our solidarity,our comradeship as a fundamental building block in any chnage and in any new way.

    this pieceis written in solidarity with my comrades and as one small effort as part of our collective endeavour


    -to be continued-


      Current date/time is Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:05 pm