Enabler Publications

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The Battle of the Beanfield

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The Battle of the Beanfield

“Twenty years on, the peace-loving festival fans still bear the scars of the Battle of the Beanfield.”
The Independent

On June 1st 1985, a convoy of over 500 new travellers, peace protestors, green activists and festival-goers set off from Savernake Forest in Wiltshire to establish the 12th annual free festival at new travellers.

They never reached their destination.

Eight miles from the Stones they were ambushed, assaulted and arrested with unprecedented brutality by a quasi-military police force of over 1,300 officers drawn from six counties and the MoD.

That event has gone down in history as ‘The Battle of the Beanfield’.

This book is the combined effort of a large number of people who feel passionately that only through reaching an understanding of what actually occurred before, during and after the events at the Beanfield, can a proper ‘closure’ of the event take place for those involved and the many people who have been in some way touched by those events. The fourteen chapters feature extracts from the police radio log and in-depth interviews with a range of people who were there on the day – including travellers, journalists Nick Davies and Kim Sabido, the Earl of Cardigan and Deputy Chief Constable Ian Readhead – as well as Lord Gifford QC, who represented 24 of the travellers at the Beanfield trial in 1991. It cuts through the myths, misconceptions and propaganda that have built up around ‘The Battle of the Battlefield’ to present a detailed picture of what actually did happen.

Also included are many previously unseen photos, analyses of the 1991 Beanfield trial, a description of the making of the documentary ‘Operation Solstice’, and chapters which set the events of the Beanfield in context. These look at the evolution of the free festival scene, new travellers, convoys and peace protestors, ‘raves’ and road protests, the campaigns for access to Stonehenge, and the wider implications of the events of the Beanfield, through increasingly draconian legislation, on civil liberties in the UK.

Read a sample chapter from this book:

The Battle of the Beanfield The Battle of the Beanfield

Edited By Andy Worthington.

ISBN 0-9523316-6-7.

248 pages including over 100 photos and illustrations, and three maps.

£12.95 plus £2.00 p&p.

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