Don’t miss this year’s Earth First Summer Gathering that is happening just outside of London. Five days of skill sharing for grassroots ecological direct action – make links, share ideas and get involved in the struggles against fracking, new roads and more. There will be a prisoner support space and letter writing, as well as a workshop on toxic prisons. Plus a SoilHack workshop!
EF! Winter Moot 2016
You are invited to attend the Earth First! Winter Moot, a gathering for people involved or wanting to know more about ecological campaigning and direct action in the UK.
Cost is £25/30 at the Centre for Science and Art, 13 Lansdown, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 1BB. Stroud station is a 5 minute walk away.
Arrive Friday 5pm, leave Sunday 6pm. Friday 19th – Sunday 21st February.
Vegan meals and accommodation are provided. Bring a sleeping bag and roll mat for the communal sleeping area.
Coming to an EF! gathering for the first time?
Those taking their first steps innto ecological campaigning are warmly welcomed. There will be debates, discussions on campaign planning, updates, support and soldarity, tactics, strategies, community building, sustainable activism and networking including groups campaigning against:
fracking, incineration, new roads, GM (genetic engineering).
Earth First! is a banner for independent groups who share a common need to protect our ecological systems. We believe in non-hierarchical direct action, to stop and reverse the forces responsbile for the destruction of the earth and its inhabitants.
For info or offers of help, contact us on:
From the 28th August to the 2nd September 2015, the Reclaim the Fields International Action Camp drew over 130 people to Wrexham, North Wales, to resist the ‘North Wales Prison Project,’ the construction of Europe’s second largest prison. Held at Borras Community Protection Camp, a site camp established to oppose fracking in the area, the gathering sought to link land struggles with resistance to the prison industrial complex(1) and ongoing mechanisms of state violence and dispossession.
Connecting the dots
From Saturday to Monday, a comprehensive programme of workshops, discussions and practical activities took place. People connected the dots between struggles around the prison system, food sovereignty, borders, and other aspects of the world post-enclosures. Several workshops explored the brutality of the prison system, introducing the P.I.C., ongoing struggles around IPP prisoners, nonhuman prisons and how prisons relate to gender and queer struggles, and over the course of the weekend a permaculture design was developed for the camp and people began work on a herb garden, biochar system and solar panels for the site.
Never alone, Never forgotten
Throughout the camp several actions took place. In the evenings, folk took sound systems, megaphones, and other noise making instruments to local prisons determined to show prisoners they are not forgotten and not alone. HMP Stoke Heath, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Altcourse were all visited, with many prisoners shouting back and banging their doors. Chants like “If you hate the screws, clap your hands” rang out under a full moon.
As part of the International Week of Solidarity for Anarchist Prisoners, children at the camp made a banner for UK anarchist prisoner, Emma Sheppard. Letters were written and prisoner stories shared. Banners were also made for comrades on tag and repressive bail conditions who couldn’t make the physical gathering.
In the Streets
There were also highstreet actions, with folk leafleting Wrexham about the prison and how they can get involved in fighting it. On Monday a protest was staged at P&A Landscaping. They are the prison’s landscapers and have supplied several fences and materials to the jail. In response their public garden centre was visited and customers were informed about their role in prison expansion.
Day-long Blockade of the Prison
On Tuesday 1st September, around 20 people blockaded the three access gates to the Wrexham Mega-Prison’s construction site. This simple action was easy to co-ordinate, and with confused and unprepared police and site staff, had a big effect with very little effort. A queue of trucks were prevented from entering and exiting the site, including a huge cement delivery which had to be turned away before it spoiled. Simon Caron, Project Director for Lend Lease, begged protesters to let it in saying, “We’ve been reasonable letting you protest, please just allow this one to get through”. No one budged and vehicles delivering materials failed to enter. Read about the action in the local newspaper here and here.
Suppliers targeted regionally
As camp participants networked and bonded, regional groups formed to take actions against local targets in their own areas. (Find a list of suppliers in your area here). One group visited the Gloucestershire offices of Precast Erections Ltd, the company supplying concrete blocks used to build the prison. More actions are planned. Contact your local group to find out how you can get involved in Community Action on Prison Expansion
Solidarity Protest at the Court
On Wednesday 2nd, people from Reclaim the Fields supported a local woman, Vanda Gillett who had been charged with assault during the Barton Moss Community Blockade. Following a guilty verdict, anger erupted in her defence. The court was occupied and ‘scuffles’ with the police took place outside. Four people were arrested and people moved to demonstrate at the police stations where they were being held. See a video and mainstream media article on the day here.
Due to the arrests and priority of station support, further actions in Manchester were postponed, however local people motivated by the anti-prison struggle are keen to continue to target local companies and delay the construction of this super prison.
Reclaiming the Fields, Reclaiming our Lives
Reclaim the Fields is a constellation of people and collective projects willing to go back to the land and reassume the control over food production. We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real needs oriented small scale production and initiatives, putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.
This camp is one part of our story (read the UK history here). We are not a ‘campaign’ or ‘coalition’ or a ‘mass movement’. We are diverse people, projects and struggles converging and diverging all over Europe. The manifold of ways in which capitalist economics comes to dominate the land (whether that be through the construction of prisons, drilling for gas or the exploitation of industrial agriculture) implicates and connects us all. While gatherings and action camps can be politically limited, they are not the be-all or end-all of our work. They are points of encounter, a chance for comrades to meet and critically reflect on how these struggles shape our lives. Read more about how RTF organises in our latest bulletin.
The gathering came alive through the work of an incredible group of people working collectively and horizontally. Numerous ex-prisoners and people who have supported loved ones through jail were present and moved by the experience. The passion and the hate for the prison system was very present and very visible. As was the desire for something more, for growing food, reclaiming land and living differently.
We will continue our work to reclaim our lives from the state, from our capitalist economic system and oppressive prison society. Until All Are Free!
– Reclaim the Fields, September 2015
(1) Defined here as the overlapping interests of government and industry that use surveillance, policing and imprisonment as solutions to economic, social and political problems.
Don’t miss this year’s Earth First Summer Gathering in the UK. Five days of skill sharing for grassroots ecological direct action – make links, share ideas and get involved in the struggles against fracking, new roads and more.
For full details visit: http://earthfirstgathering.org/
Frack Free Bristol presents a Frack Free Festival (that’s family friendly!) In solidarity with the Mi’Kmaq Indigenous Canadian people resisting Fracking on their lands. (See info at bottom of page)
Bristol ABC will be doing a stall & have cards for the current prisoners. Please promote!
From 2:30-6pm there will be a family friendly day of free activities (all donations welcome) including: face-painting, 8 foot tall puppet dinosaurs, ‘Bat-a-Frack’ interactive drilling rig, environmental colouring in sheets, live films, Q&A talks. stalls & displays opening out onto Stokes Croft.
Free entry from 2:30-6pm. Music £5 entry afterwards:
DUB MAFIA: The seven-piece band – who blend drum and bass, dub, dubstep, bashment, breakbeat and world music into their own unique sound (with a strict policy of ‘no backing tracks’ – ever), Dub Mafia have become one of the most popular dance acts in the UK & Europe.
SIAN EVANS & RON MCELROY: Sian Evans, singer of Kosheen, teams up with guitarist Ron McElroy for a unique and magic collaboration. Usually playing huge venues with her band, the two artists are going to be bringing the fire and passion of Kosheen’s music to a stripped down and beautiful acoustic performance. Not to be missed!
TROY ELLIS & HIS HAIL JAMAICA BAND: Troy is one of the sons of the legendary Alton Ellis OD, born in Trench Town, Kingston, Jamaica. Studio One, Treasure Isle, Coxsone & Channel One studios are places his dad took him where he learn’t to familiarise himself with artists and inspirational characters such as Bob Marley.
WILL TUN & THE WASTERS: Dancing forward on the ale swilling, table stomping feet of Folk, the piston pumping, train fare jumping legs of Ska, the dusty, husky, seductive hips of Balkan Gypsy, Will Tun And The Wasters are on a world-wide mission to get everyone involved!
CRINKLE CUTS: Fresh with a capital PH, Crinkle Cuts deliver you a blasting of tantric funk, smooth reggae and new-wave latin ska woven together in a bombastic psychedelic tapestry of good vibes for an eccentric, exotic and eargasmic live performance.
REGIME: Tackling issues such as drug abuse, arms dealing and government oppression, Regime speak directly to the hearts and minds of free thinking people. Social and political commentaries are blended seamlessly with hip hop, reggae and rock to make audiences jump, laugh and think.
The Earth First! Summer Gathering is an annual camp for people involved in radical green direct action to come together, to talk, share skills, learn, listen, play, rant, find out whats going on, scheme, live outdoors, hang out, laugh, experience non hierarchical, low impact, family friendly living.
For more details about the gathering go to www.efgathering.weebly.com
My third output as part of my MSc with Political Agroecology is now live.
The aim of this output was to gain a better understanding of alternative and anarchist economics, and how our economic system affects the uptake of agroecological practices, with personal focuses on personal finances and livelihood designs. There are also threads exploring colonialism and racism, self care and radical community organising.
To view the whole thing visit: http://portfolios.gaiauniversity.org/view/view.php?id=5628
A 3 course feast is being prepared by volunteers from Gladtown Forge in Glastonbury to raise money for Frack Free Somerset.
What: A 3 course feast. Suitable for vegans & totally delicious.
Where: Bridie’s Yard, Beckery Road, Glastonbury
When: Tuesday 11th March 7pm.
How to book: Email your name & how many places you want to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note space is limited so please book in advance!
Frack Free Somerset are hosting a talk based around the ‘True Cost of Coal’ Banner, created by The Beehive Collective, from North America, a consensus-based volunteer-run graphics collective.
The Banner tells the story of Mountain Top Removal in the Appalachian Mountains, and the contemporary story of energy, resource extraction and American Empire.
With a gigantic portable mural teeming with intricate images of plants and animals from the most bio-diverse temperate forest on the planet, the Bees will share (and seek) stories of how coal mining and Mountaintop Removal affect communities and ecosystems throughout Appalachia and beyond. This graphic also looks to the future, raising questions about resistance, regeneration, and remediation while celebrating stories of struggle from mountain communities. The True Cost of Coal will challenge all of us who casually flip on a light switch to examine our own connections to extreme energy and to think about what we can do to stop it from within our own communities.
Glastonbury: Saturday 22nd February 2014, 7pm at the Camino Centre, King Street, Glastonbury, BA6 9JX
Bristol: Tuesday 25th February 2014, 7pm at Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Bristol BS5 6JY