I will be talking at the Permaculture Picturehouse in London next week. Check out the event link & directions here: http://permaculturepicturehouse.co.uk/4th-august-permaculture-in-prisons/
4th August – Permaculture & Prisons
Ex-prisoner Nicole Vosper explores the links between permaculture and working for a world without prisons. She introduces the prison industrial complex in the UK and how the current system fails and harms communities. The workshop will explore how we can use permaculture to design and build communities that meet human needs without resorting to cages or state violence.
Failing to meet the needs of survivors of harm, criminalising and brutalising the working class, prisons serve no one but those at the top. For Nicole, essential links are to be made for all those that believe we can re-design our social and economic systems. Nicole sees organising for prison abolition as a creative act. It is the unstoppable desire for self-determination, social justice and ecological living that the permaculture movement is rooted in.
Doors open at 6:45pm. A small charge to cover costs is asked for on the door. The bar is open late.
About the camp
Reclaim the Fields (or RTF) UK was born in 2011, as a star in a wider constellation of food and land struggles that reaches around the globe. Since 2011, camps and other RTF gatherings have helped support local communities in struggle, share skills, developed networks, and strengthened the resistance to exploitation, in Bristol, west London, Gloucestershire, Nottingham and Fife among other locations.
Every two years there is also an international camp, where people from around Europe and beyond meet together to support a local struggle (from gold mining in Romania to open cast coal mining in Germany, for example). People share share stories and ideas about resistance and reclaiming our food system beyond national borders. This year, an international gathering will be held in the UK, in Dudleston, Shropshire, on the Welsh/English border.
The aims of the camp are:
- To support local communities in the west and north west of England, and the north of Wales with their struggles against fracking
- To increase participation in Reclaim the Fields
- To demonstrate visible, active opposition to prison construction
- To support Dudleston Community Protection Camp build a garden and infrastructure to become more self-reliant
- To demonstrate the interconnection between these struggles
- To inspire and radicalise everyone involved
What’s taking place?
- Two days of Action – Tuesday 1st & Wednesday 2nd September – demonstrations & actions against companies involved in the construction of the North Wales prison, as well as local fracking-related targets.
- Workshops & Skillshares – Over the bank holiday weekend there will be abundant opportunities to learn, share, discuss and connect with other people.
- Building & Growing on the site – Be part of installing gardens & low impact infrastructure at the community protection camp. Learn about permaculture, agroecology, forest gardening, mushroom growing, pallet construction, compost toilet making, off-grid electrics and more.
Why this camp? Why now?
- This camp has been organised to support the local community in Dudleston to resist fracking in their area (as well as working with other local anti-fracking groups & protection camps in the North West who have been resisting extreme energy developments for a number of years). To find out more about their struggle visit: http://frack-off.org.uk/blockade/dudleston-community-protection-camp/
- It has also been organised to give attention to the North Wales Prison Project that is being constructed. This will be Europe’s second largest prison holding 2100 prisoners and the first of a number of ‘mega prisons’ that the UK Government wish to build. Click here for more information about the prison, why we are against it & links to articles about the prison industrial complex in the UK
Practical Information about the Camp
Click on the links below to find more practical information about the camp and how to get involved:
- Workshops & programme – what’s happening & how to contribute
- Planning Actions
- Directions & public transport information
- What to bring
- Safer Spaces Agreement
- Accessibility of the site
- Food & donations
This is a DIY camp and everyone is needed to get stuck in to make it happen. People are needed to:
- Support with publicity before the event – sharing the gathering online, putting posters up, encouraging your local group to get involved. People are also needed to help design the programme, respond to emails & plan facilitation.
- Helping with site set up & building infrastructure (planning this in advance & being on site a few days before the gathering)
- Signing up to a shift over the weekend to help with cooking, site set up & safety, being on the welcome tent & so forth
- Supporting local groups to organise actions
If you can help with any of these tasks please email email@example.com
Who are Reclaim the Fields?
- Click here to read a history of Reclaim the Fields in Europe
- Click here to read a history of Reclaim the Fields in the UK
We are a group of peasants, landless and prospective peasants, as well as people who are taking back control over food production.
We understand “peasants” as people who produce food on a small scale, for themselves or for the community, possibly selling a part of it. This also includes agricultural workers.
We support and encourage people to stay on the land and go back to the countryside. We promote food sovereignty (as defined in the Nyéléni declaration) and peasant agriculture, particularly among young people and urban dwellers, as well as alternative ways of life. In Europe, the concept ‘food sovereignty’ is not very common and could be clarified with ideas such as ‘food autonomy’ and control over food systems by inclusive communities, not only nations or states. We are determined to create alternatives to capitalism through cooperative, collective, autonomous, real-needs-oriented, small-scale production and initiatives. We are putting theory into practice and linking local practical action with global political struggles.
In order to achieve this, we participate in local actions through activist groups and cooperate with existing initiatives. This is why we choose not to be a homogeneous group, but to open up to the diversity of actors fighting the capitalist food production model. We address the issues of access to land, collective farming, seed rights and seed exchange. We strengthen the impact of our work through cooperation with activists who focus on different tasks but who share the same vision.
Nevertheless, our openness has some limits. We are determined to take back control over our lives and refuse any form of authoritarianism and hierarchy. We respect nature and living beings, but will neither accept nor tolerate any form of discrimination, be it based on race, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or social status. We refuse and will actively oppose every form of exploitation of other people. With the same force and energy, we act with kindness and conviviality, making solidarity a concrete practice of our daily life.
We support the struggles and visions of la Via Campesina, and work to strengthen them. We wish to share the knowledge and the experience from years of struggle and peasant life and enrich it with the perspectives and strength of those of us who are not peasants, or not yet peasants. We all suffer the consequences of the same policies, and are all part of the same fight.
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/
To book your place at this amazing weekend email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Growing to Sell Course was a great success. See photographs from the two-day course below.
Click here to download the handouts from the course: http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Grow-to-Sell-Handouts-2015.zip
This is a workshop design from an Animal Liberation Gathering in Summer 2014.
With the UK and Western Europe having some of the highest land ownership concentrations in the world (1% owning 70% in the UK), the dominance of animal farming is inevitable. This workshop looks at how we can connect with struggles for access to and redistribution of land, food sovereignty and alternatives to industrial agriculture, as a way of working for animal liberation and plant-based ways of meeting our needs without exploitation.
Aim of workshop
1. To introduce animal liberation advocates to struggles around access to land, land use and food sovereignty.
2. To support participants to draw their own conclusions about potential points of intervention and connection between these movements.
1. Intro to myself, aims of the workshop
2. Introduce industrial agriculture
Use an example of a standard “cruelty- free” veggie sausage e.g. Linda McCartney. Do a popcorn to encourage people to help you complete the map of its production. See the notes below for more detail. It may be worth drawing a neat mind map and hiding it until ready to fill the gaps.
Use this as a conversation about the complexities of industrial agriculture. Does it deserve the label ‘cruelty free?’
3. How do patterns of animal abuse relate to patterns of land use? (Popcorn)
E.g. give examples hunting, fishing etc
3. Who owns this land and how is it controlled?
4. In small groups: visualise land use if animal liberation is achieved? How do we get there?
Use as an opportunity to introduce tools such as permaculture, agroforestry etc.
5. Introduce food sovereignty.
Give Food Sovereignty handouts. Briefly introduce Reclaim the Fields, UK Food Sovereignty Movement
6. Emphasise complexity. E.g. How there will be people at food-related events with different worldviews on animals. What does this mean for us? What is our role in reclaiming the food system?
7. Invite any clarifying questions. Share resources & upcoming events.
8. Close with a go-round of brief feedback & personal next steps.
Veggie Sausage Mindmap
– Biodiversity decline
– Displacement of indigenous peoples
– Water use
Use of pesticides, fertilisers, herbicides
– Tested on animals
– From fossil fuels
– Climate change (list all those other affects)
– Water run-off
– Poisoning & wildllife
– Soil contamination
– Corporate control of seeds
– Affects on communities/autonomy
– Pesticide use & health (brain damage, cancer, fertility, birth defects)
– Poor working conditions
– Fats/heart disease
– Pollution from transportation
– Fossil fuel use (climate change, pollution)
– Road building & infrastructure
– Habitat destruction
– Health impacts
– Factory workers/control/wage slavery
– Huge amounts of energy
– Packaging waste, landfill
– Supermarket control/retail power
– Impact on local shops
– Worker exploitation
Saturday 23rd May & Sunday 24th may 2015
9.30am – 5pm both days
About the Course
This stand alone course is an inspiring introduction to permaculture ethics, principles and design. It can help you test the water before undertaking a full permaculture design course. The weekend will explore ‘what is permaculture?’ including the core ethics, principle and skills involved in design, such as observation and systems thinking. You will be introduced to the design process through practical exercises and creative activities.
About the Tutor
Graham Burnett has been teaching permaculture since 1998, is a holder of the Diploma in Permaculture Design and author of Permaculture A Beginner’s Guide and the recently published Vegan Book of Permaculture. He runs Spiralseed an ethical venture working in partnership with others who share concerns around social and environmental justice. www.spiralseed.co.uk
Brook End, is a 4 acre smallholding and LAND demonstration centre designed & managed on plant-based permaculture principles 5 miles from Glastonbury in Somerset. Accommodation is camping. Local B&Bs can be recommended. Lunch & refreshments are provided. All catering will be vegan with as much as possible grown on site & sourced from local growers.
The course is designed on a sliding scale basis. From £60 (low income workers, unemployed, state benefits) to £120 (average salary). Payment is required by 1st May 2015 to confirm your place. Places are limited.
To book please email: email@example.com
See the original page here and audio file here: http://animalvoices.ca/2015/02/17/dont-be-afraid-to-turn-your-pain-into-power-permaculture-design-and-empty-cages-with-nicole-vosper/
“Don’t be afraid to turn your pain into power”: Permaculture Design and Empty Cages with Nicole Vosper
If you’ve envisioned a world where animals are no longer raised to be killed and eaten as food, you may have also wondered about finding alternative means of producing real food to feed the world. Nicole Vosper brings her experience with liberation permaculture and agroecology as a potential solution. These practices incorporate an ethic of care and respect for all beings into systems that can feed people in an environmentally friendly way. Her approach differs from the mainstream focus on welfarist changes to farming that still treat non-human animals as resources that can be exploited and consumed, and instead bases her designs with the inherent ethic that all beings deserve freedom, and that we can grow food in a sustainable way without hurting wild or domesticated animals alike, including ways to integrate permaculture with farm sanctuaries.
Nicole’s work is largely inspired by principles of green anarchism and anarchist pedagogy. She claims that: “we have so much to learn and unlearn,” and in the interview, she elaborates on how that connects with activism and radical community organizing. Her views also reflect work she does with prison abolition and self-care, getting to the root of issues in our communities in ways that will precipitate real and effective social change.